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Controls On Doctors Fees = Medical Slavery

Controls On Doctors Fees = Medical Slavery

Libertarianz Health Spokesman Richard McGrath said today that any price controls imposed on doctors for provision of after-hours services would be tantamount to nationalization of their businesses.

"As every GP knows, running an after hours medical service is very expensive, and often uneconomical," said Dr McGrath. "There has to be some disincentive for patients to get doctors out of bed in the middle of the night, or the service will end up being abused."

"Logic dictates that if doctors cannot set their own fees, they will be overrun by the increased demand that results from lower prices," he added. "This is a recipe for stress, burnout, career change and a resultant doctor shortage. A shame the policy analysts at the Ministry of Health can't seem to integrate basic economics into their pointy heads."

Dr McGrath said a Libertarianz government would open the health market up to competition, and open medical savings accounts for all New Zealanders. It would also smooth the path for doctors to immigrate to New Zealand. "There are hundreds of doctors in Britain who have had a gutsful of the socialist National Health Service, and would happily work in New Zealand provided we didn't go down the same road."

"If a businessman can't set his pricing structure then he is little more than a slave to his customers," Dr McGrath said.

Responding to comments from Child Poverty Action Group spokesman and fellow GP Nikki Turner, Dr McGrath said he applauded CPAG's aim of improving the health of children, but said so-called 'free' health care would help turn New Zealanders into welfare junkies.

"Libertarianz would give the parents of these children a massive tax break – the first $50,000 of income would be tax-free – so that they could afford to purchase medical insurance. Iwi groups in my part of the country have been doing this for years, and their children are seen promptly and efficiently in the private sector as a result."

Dr McGrath also criticized the NZ Medical Association for suggesting that "funding" for GPs be increased, saying that this can only be done by stealing more wealth from those who create it through the tax system, or by borrowing the money and dumping the debt burden onto future generations of New Zealanders.

"National and Labour governments have never trusted New Zealanders to organize their own health care with their own money. It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz!"

ENDS

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