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NZMA welcomes increased Primary Care funding

NZMA welcomes increased Primary Care funding

The New Zealand Medical Association welcomes the additional funding for Primary Health Organisations announced today by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Health Minister Annette King.

“The extra $415.7 million over three years will make a huge difference to patients, and to General Practice throughout New Zealand,” said Dr Peter Foley, who chairs the NZMA’s General Practitioner Council. “The NZMA has long advocated for the roll-out of funding to PHOs to be hastened, and we are very pleased that the Government has listened to health sector groups and responded.”

“The Government initially planned to introduce increased funding over eight to ten years. Today’s announcement will effectively mean the new system for funding primary health care will be in place, for most New Zealanders, much sooner than that.”

“Since the first PHOs were established two years ago the NZMA has been concerned about the unequal distribution of funding. Today’s announcement means the amount New Zealanders pay for primary health care will no longer be dependent on where they live. “

Dr Foley said Primary Care generally is in great need of a funding boost, particularly if the Government wants to achieve the aims of its Primary Health Care Strategy, which include increased continuity of care and providing enhanced services, as well as cheaper fees.

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