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Title: The impact of COVID-19 on private and public primary care physicians: A cross-sectional study
Authors: Lau, Jerrald 
Tan, David Hsien-Yung 
Wong, Gretel Jianlin 
Lew, Yii-Jen 
Chua, Ying-Xian
Low, Lian-Leng 
Koh, Gerald Choon-Huat 
Kwek, Thiam-Soo 
Toh, Sue-Anne Ee-Shiow 
Tan, Ker-Kan 
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Infectious Diseases
Primary care
Issue Date: 18-Feb-2021
Citation: Lau, Jerrald, Tan, David Hsien-Yung, Wong, Gretel Jianlin, Lew, Yii-Jen, Chua, Ying-Xian, Low, Lian-Leng, Koh, Gerald Choon-Huat, Kwek, Thiam-Soo, Toh, Sue-Anne Ee-Shiow, Tan, Ker-Kan (2021-02-18). The impact of COVID-19 on private and public primary care physicians: A cross-sectional study. JOURNAL OF INFECTION AND PUBLIC HEALTH 14 (3) : 285-289. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Purpose: Primary care physicians (PCP) are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 as they manage patients with fever or respiratory symptoms, but it is intuitive that private and public practice PCPs may face different challenges during this pandemic. This study compared work- and non-work-related concerns, COVID-19’s impact on personal and professional lives, and perceived pandemic preparedness between private and public PCPs in Singapore. Methods: 216 PCPs who were a registered member of either the National University Polyclinics, National University Health System Primary Care Network or College of Family Physicians Singapore, participated in this online cross-sectional study. The data collection period lasted from 6th March 2020 to 29th March 2020. Results: A final sample of 172 questionnaires were analysed. Private PCPs tended to be older and more experienced. Perceived COVID-19 exposure and overall preparedness was high in both groups. More private PCPs perceived their exposure risk as unacceptable, aOR = 3.96 (1.07, 14.62); that they should not be caring for COVID-19 patients, aOR = 3.55 (1.23, 10.24); and perceived more stigma against their loved ones, aOR = 4.27 (1.74, 10.44). Private PCPs felt less well-trained, aOR = 0.05 (0.01, 0.23); and supported, aOR = 0.14 (0.03, 0.63). Conclusions: Private PCPs are more likely to be self-employed or work in smaller practices where COVID-19 infection could mean loss of livelihood. As a healthcare system without primary care is crippled in its ability to manage outbreaks, authorities should respond appropriately to the needs of their general practitioners and family physicians.
ISSN: 1876-0341
DOI: 10.1016/j.jiph.2020.12.028
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