Coronavirus: Kiwi GPs struggling to stay open due to high costs from COVID-19

Some GPs in New Zealand say patient visits are going down and they're struggling to remain open due to high costs from the COVID-19 epidemic.

Dunedin doctor Dave McKay from the Helensburgh Medical Centre is concerned for the financial viability of his practice and his staff.

He says they're seeing fewer patients and the cost of personal protection equipment (PPE) is rising.

"There's the buying of the PPE, there's ongoing running of the practice with lower consultation rates. Now we can absorb that to a point, but if that carries on for a very long time, a lot of practices are not going to be able to remain liquid," he told Newshub.

But Ministry of Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield says they're looking into ways to help struggling practices.

"There's a very active piece of work to both quantify where practices are struggling financially and to help provide support. So that work is well underway," he said on Tuesday.

Doctors are hoping for a further funding announcement later this week.