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NZMA welcomes funding increases

NZMA welcomes funding increases

The New Zealand Medical Association welcomes the Government’s continuing commitment to increased health funding, but cautions that some changes announced in the Budget might not be enough to achieve the Government’s aims in some areas.

The increased funding for ACC is very welcome, particularly the $21 million to medical practitioners for patient subsidies, and $11 million for radiology services. “These increases are long overdue, and will help make these services more affordable to people who suffer injuries,” said NZMA Chairman Dr Tricia Briscoe. “Also welcome is the $19 million for medical misadventure, which will be used to introduce a system which is fairer for patients.”

The NZMA also welcomed the increased funding for orthopaedic surgery, which will ensure that many people with painful conditions receive treatment.

The increased eligibility for student allowances will be helpful for some medical students, who face some of the highest fee and debt levels of all students. “Anything extra for students is useful, but many will still have the burden of huge debt when they graduate and may still have to seriously consider working overseas to earn more money,” Dr Briscoe said.

The NZMA is disappointed that the roll-out of funding for the Primary Health Care Strategy has not been accelerated.

“Already, the amount New Zealanders pay for primary health care is dependent on where they live. In many cases, getting cheaper primary health care will still depend on where you live, rather than your level of need.”

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