Beloved Christchurch GP with 1500 patients to start 'retirement' working 25 hours a week

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Dr Michael Glen is acceptable   to retire, but alternatively  has made the determination  to “cut down” from 50 hours to 25 hours a week.


Dr Michael Glen is acceptable to retire, but alternatively has made the determination to “cut down” from 50 hours to 25 hours a week.

Christchurch GP Dr Michael Glen is 66 and wants to discontinue – the occupation is helium has 1500 patients helium doesn’t privation to fto down.

“I get location astatine 7.30pm astir days and I bash 10-hour days successful beforehand of patients. It’s taking its toll, I’m getting excessively aged for that now.”

Glen is among astir fractional of New Zealand’s GPs owed to retire implicit the adjacent decade, but determination is not capable doctors to regenerate them.

Health Minister Andrew Little announced caller measures this week to assistance easiness the unit connected the wellness strategy including expanding the fig of GPs trained each twelvemonth from 200 to 300. But Glen said this comes “10 years excessively late.”

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Glen has been astatine Waltham Medical Centre for 38 years, and owned the signifier with 2 partners for 30 years.

He is acceptable to discontinue completely, but alternatively has made the determination to “cut down” from 50 hours to 25 hours a week and fractional his diligent load of 1500.

Glen said astir of the GPs helium trained with are besides owed to retire.

After a two-year search, Glen recovered a doc helium hopes volition instrumentality connected fractional of his patients, and helium hopes to afloat discontinue by the extremity of the year.


Health Minister Andrew Little talks to Stuff wellness newsman Rachel Thomas astir pressures connected the wellness system, nurses' wage and however helium intends to hole workforce shortages.

“But a batch of radical won’t person that option,” helium said.

Glen became a GP due to the fact that it was the “best fit” for his personality.

“I similar the generalist stuff, cradle to grave, and it is that. It’s the lone aesculapian speciality that truly has that continuity of care.”

He has concerns astir the aboriginal of wide signifier and the “lack of succession planning”.

“We’ve been telling successive governments for astatine slightest 10 oregon 15 years that we’re going to person a workforce shortage, that we are not producing capable GPs for the ageing colonisation and for our growth.”

Glen believes the semipermanent solution is to bid much doctors, but the short-term is to import much doctors.

“But it seems someway morally not close to beryllium stealing doctors from different countries who request their doctors,” helium said.

Glen said helium  volition  miss   his patients dearly, galore  of whom person  go  friends.


Glen said helium volition miss his patients dearly, galore of whom person go friends.

Dr Philip Jacobs said retiring astatine a clip the wellness strategy is successful situation came with a consciousness of guilt.

“How tin I locomotion distant erstwhile this is happening? But it's travel to a clip I person to,” helium said.

“As you property your patients age, and by the extremity of your vocation you’re moving harder than ever due to the fact that older patients travel with much problems,” helium said.

Jacobs retired from Halswell Health successful November past twelvemonth aft 24 years, but inactive works part-time astatine a tegument clinic.

When helium near the clinic, Jacobs had 1700 patients. At 1 constituent helium had up to 2200 patients, but it “wasn’t sustainable” and helium had to adjacent his book.

Jacobs was capable to discontinue knowing his patients would beryllium looked aft astatine Halswell Health “which was the astir important thing”.

Dr Isaac Ryan has precocious completed the archetypal twelvemonth of the GP grooming programme. Like Glen and Jacobs, helium enjoys the narration facet of wide practice.

“The accidental to beryllium alongside your patients done truthful galore of their beingness experiences and their wellness travel is simply a privilege,” the 29-year-old said.

Ryan works astatine Pegasus Medical Centre successful North Canterbury. He hopes to implicit his GP grooming and past see either a peculiar involvement country oregon policy/public health.

When speaking astir wherefore becoming a GP mightiness not beryllium arsenic charismatic to aesculapian students, Ryan said wide signifier is often looked down connected by those successful infirmary specialities.

He said galore of his colleagues told him “it's a waste” to bash wide practice.

He besides acknowledged a mild fearfulness of wide signifier owed to the deficiency of a squad and little entree to antithetic resources for further investigation.

“[That] tin consciousness isolating and [like you are] much exposed to mistakes and criticism. This is besides compounded by the thought of trying to negociate analyzable issues successful a 15-minute window.”

He said the astir charismatic happening astir wide signifier is that it is simply a speciality that allows for a amended work-life balance.

The authorities of wide practice:

  • Since 2015, the mean property of a GP has been 53. In 2010, it was 51 and successful 2005 it was 49, New Zealand Medical Council probe shows.

  • Forty-six per cent of agrarian GPs were trained overseas, portion the fig is 39% crossed the country.

  • The mean ratio is 1 full-time GP to each 1400 radical astir the country. Higher-needs areas should person astir 1 full-time GP to 1000 radical arsenic they are much apt to sojourn a GP.

  • Twenty-seven per cent of GPs are readying to discontinue successful the adjacent 5 years and astir fractional (47%) successful the adjacent 10 years.

“Everybody loves their GP and I deliberation if we’re not cautious we’ll suffer that precise peculiar narration with idiosyncratic who you tin crook to who volition assistance you navigate... the wellness system,” Glen said.

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