Most practices unprepared for flu pandemic
NINE out of 10 GPs feel their practice is ill-prepared to deal with an influenza pandemic, new research has revealed.
During in-depth interviews with researchers from the University of South Australia, 10 GPs discussed their potential responses to such an event and raised a series of concerns, including lack of preparedness, uncertainty about protective measures, and fears for their own health and that of their families.
“A number of GPs said they would not practise in the event of a pandemic, as they felt their responsibility to their families outweighed that to their patients,” wrote the authors.
However, a recent MO web poll has revealed only 40% of GPs do not feel they are prepared for a pandemic.
Perth GP Dr Steve Wilson, believed his practice was “as prepared as it could be” and it was the obligation of GPs to treat patients for any presenting condition even if it was a risk to their own health.
“If anyone declares themselves as having an infectious illness I just wear a mask,” he said. “The first thing we have to do is protect ourselves because we are no use to anybody if we get ill or disabled ourselves.”
RACGP pandemic spokesman Dr Ron McCoy said new modules and resources on pandemic preparation would be available soon.