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Labour's GP Funding Proposals Full Of Inequities

Thursday 20 Jun 2002

Labour's proposed "revolution in primary healthcare" is fraught with inequities and doomed to failure, ACT health spokesman Ken Shirley says.

"Instead of targeting assistance to individuals on the basis of genuine need, Labour proposes to shift to population-based funding, paying subsidies on the basis of the number of patients enrolled in a doctor's practice.

"While this model can work if properly implemented, Labour has chosen to give arbitrary weighting to factors such as race.

"If a practice is predominantly Maori, all the patients, including rich white people with no Maori blood, will get subsidised. If a practice is predominantly rich or white, none of the patients gets subsidised, including the poor ones.

"The fallacy is it assumes all Maori are poor, and there are no self-sufficient people living in low-income neighbourhoods.

"The result is, an average-income worker on the outskirts of Remuera will pay considerably more to see the doctor than a millionaire in South Auckland," Mr Shirley said.


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