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Alliance backs free GP visits

18 December 2000 Media Statement

Alliance backs free GP visits

Free GP visits are Alliance policy and a recommendation in favour of free primary health care is welcome, Alliance leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said today.

He's pledging that the Alliance will co-operate fully to advance the policy in the fastest possible time-frame.

The National Health Committee is recommending the Government should move to 'fully fund' free doctor's visits. It estimates the cost of the policy at $350 – 400 million a year.

"The Alliance has long campaigned for free medical care. This is a respected authority endorsing the importance of free GP visits and it shows that the policy is sound.

"This policy has a very significant cost, but it also has very significant benefits in reducing hospitals costs and – more importantly – saving lives.

"The Alliance will negotiate with its coalition partner in support of our policy, recognising that the Government is committed to making real gains in the health status of all New Zealanders," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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