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PHA welcomes funding for low-cost GP practices

PHA welcomes funding for low-cost GP practices

28 August 2006

The Public Health Association (PHA) is welcoming news that extra money will be available from October to ensure low-cost GP practices remain viable.

PHA Director Dr Gay Keating said it was pleasing to see health funding go to those who needed it most.

“Many lower-income New Zealand families rely on their GP charging lower fees and in some cases providing services for free. For them, higher fees mean no visit to the doctor and illnesses getting much worse. Up to 25 percent of hospital beds are taken up by people who could have avoided hospitalisation if there was better access to doctors.”

She said that some low-cost health services had been struggling to survive in the face of rising costs.
“This will enable those GPs to remain viable, and continue to provide valuable services.

“It is well known that people on lower incomes have poorer health – and this is often related to them not being able to afford to go to the doctor. Providing additional funding to low-cost practices will enable people to get treatment for illnesses before they get really sick.”

ENDS


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