Over half of Canterbury GPs admit to working while sick

Source: 1News

How well is the doctor who is treating your illness?

A survey just released by Pegasus Health, which delivers primary and community based healthcare in Canterbury, says more than half – 53 per cent - of its GPs admitted working while sick.

And the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners says those figures are reflective of what happens throughout the country.

The problem is set to get worse, the college says, as our population ages.

"We found that 22 per cent of GPs were feeling pretty burnt out," Richard Medlicoot, medical director at the College, told 1 NEWS.

One of the reasons given was loyalty to patients, or the inability to find a locum.

The Pegasus survey also found that 56 per cent of practice nurses had also worked while feeling ill, while 64 per cent of pharmacists have done the same.

Many hadn't taken any sick leave in the last year.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says these results are similar to its own research.

"Nurses working at the cost of their own health and wellbeing is not uncommon," spokesperson Hilary Graham Smith says.

"This is about having a sense of duty to patients and colleagues so they play down their own symptoms and the need for self-care.

"The system is under extreme pressure with growth in the demand for care not being matched by the resources to provide that care."