AMA (NSW) President: employers and schools, please don’t ask staff and students to go to the GP unnecessarily
- On March 13, 2020
AMA (NSW) President, Dr Kean-Seng Lim, is asking employers and schools to limit unnecessary use of GPs.
“GPs are the cornerstone of healthcare and many schools and employers call on GPs to issue certificates for normal illnesses, missing exams, or absences.
“AMA (NSW) is calling on employers and schools to waive requirements for those who require time off work or school, for any illness, to obtain certificates and clearances from their GP.
“This extends to school staff, too.”
“Some employers are also still seeking testing for clearances and, while we have pandemic conditions, these too are unnecessary.
“I know many people are nervous about COVID-19 and, while we do need to take it seriously, panic is taking forms other than people hoarding toilet paper.
“We are already seeing strains being put on the health system and the more acute ones we can expect to see in the coming weeks and months will mean we need to eliminate unnecessary consults,” Dr Lim said.
“I would say three things:
“Firstly, a worker or student who is sick should be able to take time off to recover and not spread an illness to their colleagues.
“Demanding a sick employee or student goes to a GP increases the risk of illnesses being transmitted to other people, including healthcare workers.
“In relation to COVID-19, it is just not possible for doctors to give 100 per cent certainty that someone doesn’t have it,” Dr Lim said.
“Everyone has a part to play to ensure we reduce the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible and reduce unnecessary demands on the health system and healthcare workers.
“On a personal level, that’s as simple as washing your hands regularly and observing cough etiquette – coughing into your elbow.
“From employers and schools, we need to see a reduction in unnecessary demands on their employees and students to seek healthcare,” Dr Lim said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0419 402 955