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Fees research shows subsidies passed on

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Fees research shows subsidies passed on

Research released today about general practitioner fees shows that GPs have passed on the vast majority of increased subsidies to their patients, the New Zealand Medical Association says.

“The NZMA is pleased that access for many New Zealanders to primary health care is becoming more affordable. Better access to general practice services is a key factor in improving the long-term health of the population, as well as helping to keep people with minor illnesses out of hospital emergency departments,” said NZMA GP Council Chair Dr Peter Foley.

“Some of the increased funding has been absorbed by GPs to ensure the viability of their practices. This was anticipated, and the Minister of Health had said she expected this would happen. Overall, the NZMA is very impressed with how much General Practice has manage to pass on, while remaining viable.”

The research, released by the Ministry of Health, shows differences in the fees charged by Access-funded and Interim-funded Primary Health Organisations.

“This research was carried out when PHOs were being funded largely on a geographical basis. With the new extra funding announced in June, this situation will become more equitable over the next three years,” Dr Foley said.

Improved access is one of the aims of the Government’s Primary Health Care Strategy, which is supported by the NZMA. Other aims include increased continuity of care and providing enhanced services.

ENDS


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