The overall goal of the College is to improve the health of all New Zealanders through high quality general practice care.
The College recognises the status of the Treaty of Waitangi and accepts its principles of partnership, participation and active protection derived from the treaty, as the guide to relationships between Maori and the Crown. The College will endeavour to incorporate these principles into its activities.
The College is a professional body and post-graduate educational institute established in 1974 (having been a branch of the Royal College of General Practitioners since 1957). It provides on-going educational support and training for general practitioners and standards setting for general practice.
Definition: The discipline and specialty of general practice
General practice is an academic and scientific discipline with its own educational content, research, evidence base and clinical activity. It is a clinical specialty orientated to primary health care. It is a first level service that requires improving, maintaining, restoring and coordinating people’s health. It focuses on patients’ needs and enhancing the network among local communities, other health and non-health agencies. General practice:
- Is personal, family and community oriented comprehensive primary care that continues over time, is anticipatory as well as responsive, and is not limited by the age, gender, race, religion or social circumstances of patients, nor by their physical or mental states.
- Is normally the point of first medical contact within the health care system, providing open and unlimited access to its users, dealing with all health problems regardless of the age, gender, culture or any other characteristic of the person concerned.
- Makes efficient use of health care resources through the coordination of care, working with other professionals in the primary health care setting, managing the interface with other specialities, and taking an advocacy role for the patient when needed.
- Develops a person-centred approach, orientated to the individual, as well an approach that is responsive to the needs of their family/whanau and their community.
- Has a unique consultation process that establishes a relationship over time, through effective communication between clinician and patient.
- Is responsible for the provision of longitudinal continuity of care as determined by the needs of the patient.
- Has a specific decision-making process determined by the prevalence and incidence of illness in the community.
- Diagnoses and manages simultaneously both acute and chronic health problems of individual patients.
- Diagnoses and manages illness which presents in an undifferentiated way at an early stage in its development, which may require urgent intervention.
- Promotes health and well -being through appropriate and effective intervention.
- Has a specific responsibility for health in the community.
- Deals with health problems in their physical, psychological, spiritual, social and cultural dimensions.