From the Chair - Update

Dr, Richard Stein, Chair —

This is the second column I am writing for this issue.

When I wrote my original column a few short weeks ago, I had no idea I would have to re-write it due to the abrupt changes in our lives. Paradoxically, in a time when we need to practice social distancing, we need, more than ever before, to stay connected as a community. We all share the same concerns. In addition to those shared by all New Zealanders about our loved ones and our jobs, we are also burdened with additional worries: Am I more susceptible to COVID-19? Should I continue my medications? Will I be able to fill my prescriptions? Will I be able to get medical care or advice if I need it?

Many of the answers to these questions can be found on our social media pages. Yes, medications should be available if people do not hoard. Yes, you should continue on your medications. Yes, the DHB’s and the NZ government are taking every precaution to ensure you will be taken care of. More questions and concerns will come up over the next few and the answers may change. Pay particular attention to the recommendations that are being published by the Ministry of Health and discussed daily by Prime Minister Ardern.

We are working around the clock to keep our information current and to keep you informed. We have three gastroenterologists and a GI nurse on our Board as well as committee of medical advisors. COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more each day as the situation progresses. In this newsletter we are running an article addressing common questions.

From all of our at CCNZ, keep yourself safe. Do not hesitate to contact us and, please, let us know how we can do more.