Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Dr Sarah Jarvis said individuals need to be sensible when attempting to obtain sick notes if they believe they have the virus. Questions surrounding how the NHS will cope with an expected rise in sick notes were escalated during the Tuesday night programme. The resident doctor on Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 programme was quizzed by the host Mark Urban.
He asked: “There’s a question about capacity because if there is tens of thousands of people trying to ring their GP to say their self-isolating will you please give me a sick note, they’re just not going to get through are they?”
In response, Dr Jarvis said: “You are absolutely right and I think the Government has said that really employers really need to be sensible about this.
“The last thing that I want is for anybody to come in and see me because that is exactly what nobody should do.
“If they think they have the coronavirus do not go to your GP, do not go to your pharmacy, you’re only going to spread it.
“What we’re saying is worst case scenario, people are going to ring up their GPs, say I’ve been told to self-isolate, the GP is going to take their word for it and issue a sick note.
“They could do exactly the same thing to employers and employers need to be sensible about this.
“GPs have quite a lot to do in the next few months without having to issue those sick notes.“
Her intervention comes as the number of cases reported worldwide of the coronavirus hit more than 91,000.
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