General Practice During Lockdown

By CMFnz GP | Apr 4 2020

At 62 years old in remission from lymphoma with my wife (practice nurse) who suffers from a chronic respiratory condition working on the front line in general practice, right now is scary! The strange thing is that at no time have I thought seriously about my own health. My wife, I think, is more concerned that I will do something stupid - she knows me well. 

In my practice we have 12,000 registered patients and we operate as an Accident and Medical walk in service seeing 30,000 casuals per year. We have nearly 40 staff including 12 GPs. 

It's normally very busy. Suddenly with the lockdown we have changed from being a busy practice to a very quiet one. Our doctors are working at home online or in their rooms doing telephone or virtual consults. We are seeing patients for their flu injections, and occasional face to face patients after very careful screening. From doing up to 30 x rays per day we are doing two. There is an eerie silence in the place. On the other hand, the pharmacy next door has been frantic with 2 metre queues out the front door, as patients scramble to get their scripts! 

Despite the quiet there is a tension everywhere. Different reports each day affect how we operate. Definitions of who to swab change, what to tell patients changes. What to do with patients who need secondary treatment but refuse to go for fear of infection. We wait! Watch, adapt. Try to stay positive and safe. General practice does this well. Together with our wonderful nurses and admin we are ready.  

As Christians we need to be ready! Jesus tells us this time and again. Personally I am keeping short accounts with God, seeking Him daily. Reading his word. Praying, keeping in touch with family, friends, people I know on their own. Our church is praying online twice daily and adapting to virtual fellowship. The world can be in crisis but I am ready!  I know God is the same yesterday, today and forever! 


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