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National's Primary Health approach "grave concern"

11 August 2005

National's Primary Health approach "of grave concern"

Indications on the direction of National's health policy will be of grave concern to nurses on the front line of primary health care delivery, says the Nurses Organisation.

"NZNO has strongly supported the Government's goal of free or low cost access for all New Zealanders to GPs and primary health care nursing services.

"We support universal provision of primary health care because we know that as soon as you try and target care far too many people miss out," said NZNO spokesperson, Laila Harré.

"The last thing New Zealanders need is barriers to accessing primary health care services, which National's policy is all about.

"National's last shot at means testing was a complete failure," said Laila Harré.

"Between a quarter and a third of those entitled to the community services card did not have one. Thousands of families missed out altogether because they were considered too rich for help - even though most of them were on modest incomes.

"Our members do not want more disruption in the health service. What we want is a commitment to pay parity and professional development for primary health care nurses and the Government needs to put some more money into the system for that."

ENDS


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