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GP fees down for 300,000 people over 65

GP fees down for 300,000 people over 65

The IPA Council (Independent Practitioners Association Council) announced this evening its pleasure at successfully negotiating with the Ministry of Health over the lowering of general practice fees for visits by people over 65, from tomorrow.

IPA Council Chairman Doug Baird said tonight that all 38 Interim PHOs (Primary Health Organisations) could now use the Government’s $48m subsidy to lower fees they charged to those over 65.

“Close to 300,000 patients will now enjoy lower costs for a visit to their GP.

“We are pleased there is now agreement on how best to apply the subsidy to lower the fees,” he said.

Mr Baird acknowledged reaching the agreement had taken longer than anticipated.

“The proposed funding method did not take sufficient account of the practicalities and variation of general practice throughout New Zealand.

“These realities mean general practices will use the subsidy to lower fees by varying amounts, but in all cases, most of the subsidy will be passed through to patients,” Mr Baird said.

He said the Ministry and IPA Council had also agreed to work through other issues which arose during the discussions.

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