(2011), "New Zealand - The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) agrees – working is good for your health", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2011.06224faa.008
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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
New Zealand - The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) agrees – working is good for your health
Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 24, Issue 6
Keywords: Health benefits of work, Patient empowerment, Occupational healthcare, Healthcare practice
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners has endorsed the Australasian Consensus Statement on the Health Benefits of Work.
College President Dr Harry Pert says the statement aims to draw attention to the relationship between health, wellbeing and work, and to get organisations working together to ensure New Zealanders understand and achieve the benefits work can bring.
“The evidence clearly shows that long-term absences from work because of health issues, disabilities or unemployment have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. The consensus statement gives us a basis on which to start working collectively to ensure individuals understand the health benefits of work and are empowered to take responsibility for their own situation.”
Dr Pert says GPs have a key role to play in changing perceptions and practice. This isn’t about cutting sick leave or reducing disability entitlements; it’s about a major shift in thinking and practice for the benefit of communities, as well as families and individuals.
“As GPs, we have an ongoing, in-depth knowledge of a patient’s medical history. There are huge opportunities for GPs to become more skilled in understanding the work-health link and occupational health, including mental health aspects as well as the physical.
“Other considerations include ensuring patients who have chronic illnesses have better access to the rehabilitation assistance provided to those who have accidents.”
However, Dr Pert also says that while the RNZCGP supports the consensus statement, caution is needed to avoid unintended consequences of any change in practice or policies.
“We need to continually seek evidence about the benefits of work, and what contributes to a beneficial work environment. We also need to remember that unpaid work can also have a beneficial effect on health and wellbeing.”
For more information: www.rnzcgp.org.nz