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Doctor changes at Medplus

July 7, 2021


Changes in the Doctor Team

We are sad to announce that Dr Fred Goh is leaving Medplus in mid-July. He is going to practice in the West, an area that he really enjoys working, and where he is setting up a new practice with his wife. We wish him the best of luck in his new endeavour and thank him for his time at Medplus.

We want to thank Dr Grace Kim for working with us since February as a maternity locum for Dr Jenny Park. Grace is shortly returning to Wellington to continue her specialist physician training in the hospital. She has enjoyed her time in General Practice and will be returning if she decides to pursue General Practice as a career. We would welcome her back and really appreciated her time with us. Dr Jenny Park is very much enjoying her time at home with her new baby boy, and we look forward to her returning next year.

It is not just the horticulturalists and ski field operators who are struggling to recruit new staff. We have been looking for 2 full-time doctors for some time and have had minimal applicants. There is an unprecedented number of vacancies for general practitioners in New Zealand. It is a perfect storm, insufficient doctors have been trained in recent years, few of them join general practice, a large proportion of GPs are at retirement age, salaries offshore remain very attractive for young doctors with large student loans, and the closure of borders has really reduced the number of overseas doctors coming to New Zealand. We know of many of our local colleagues are struggling to fill vacancies and the supply of locums has almost completely dried up. This has been a problem for our rural colleagues for many years but now Auckland is suffering too. We remain committed to finding compassionate and highly skilled doctors to join our team, but it is not going to happen as quickly as we would like. We are having a similar issue with recruiting nurses. Difficult times. We are very hopeful that the talks we are having with 2 potential locums will be successful and will help us fill the gaps in the short term.

Currently, we are juggling our team and may have to reduce our out-of-hours work to ensure we do not overstretch our remaining staff. Dr. Tanja Minic is now kindly spending more time at Medplus Lake Road, and Dr. Anuj Gupta has increased his hours in Devonport. Some of our part-time staff are temporarily increasing their hours to help cover the roster.

Our optimal way of practicing is for each patient to have a preferred provider, a clinician they will normally see and get to know when they make routine appointments. For more urgent issues it is not always possible to see your preferred provider, and it will be the doctor or nurse prescriber who has spare appointments that day. In the short term, this may be our locums if we can secure them.

For those patients, whose preferred provider is Dr Fred Goh, we are still actively trying to recruit the ideal replacement. Meanwhile you may choose to be cared for by Dr Anuj Gupta if Devonport is convenient for you, alternatively Dr Albert Wu or Dr Chen Luo if you prefer Hauraki. Of course, you can remain with them long term if this is your preference and can see anyone else in the team too. Please can you express your preference to the reception team, or to the Medical Assistants, or via a Health 365 portal message? We look forward to hearing from you.

For those patients whose preferred provider is Dr Jenny Park, until she returns you will be well looked after by Dr Tanja Minic, and our two Nurse Prescribers, Pippa and Gemma. You do not need to do anything at this time and Dr Park will be left as your preferred provider unless you tell us otherwise.

We remain committed to providing a high level of service to all our patients throughout these changes. In order to do this, we are closing our books temporarily, with only Dr Anuj Gupta enrolling patients in Devonport. When we recruit, we will of course let you know as soon as possible. Any queries or concerns should be directed to our Practice Manager, Katherine Williams.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/439743/whanganui-facing-future-gp-shortage

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/124477572/doctor-shortage-forcing-gp-clinics-to-turn-away-new-patients

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-democracy-reporting/300289022/poverty-and-high-health-needs-driving-gp-shortage-in-south-auckland

https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/undoctored/gp-shortage-northland-symptom-growing-crisis-general-practice

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/bay-of-plenty-gps-limping-through-the-crisis-of-doctor-shortage/X3YJT2BQSPGCV2XKKZTIZDVC3Q/#:~:text=%22There%20is%20a%20GP%20shortage,not%20limited%20to%20our%20network.&text=Burnout%20among%20GPs%20has%20jumped,College%20of%20General%20Practitioners%20survey.