Coronavirus: New Zealanders encouraged to keep up with regular health checks during pandemic

Patient having consultation with doctor in office
Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealanders are being encouraged to keep up with their regular "vitally important" health checks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It comes as the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners heard reports of Kiwis ignoring their text reminders or thinking their GP clinic has "forgotten to turn off their regular reminders".

"Kiwis need to call their GP for an appointment and keep up to date on their regular healthcare and not save it up until we get to level 2 or level 1," the college's medical director Dr Bryan Betty says.

He says this means people need to call their GP and make an appointment for their smear test, children's immunisations or blood pressure check if they're due. These are "necessary and need to be done" since regular healthcare is still important during the COVID-19 response.

"Your GP is set up to care for patients safely, which might mean asking you to wash your hands at entry, waiting in your car before your appointment, or giving you a mask to wear while you see your GP."

Dr Betty adds GPs have been doing most of their consultations by phone, email and video, but people are still able to book in-person appointments if it's required.