National Supports Red Letter Concerns Over PHOs
4 July 2002
National agrees with the New Zealand Medical Association's concerns that the new Primary Health Organisations could cause serious inequities in the access New Zealanders have to GP services, National Health Spokesperson Roger Sowry said today.
"The NZMA concerns that the PHO structure will destabilise general practice are well founded.
"National has been concerned for some time that doctors are being forced to join the Government's ideologically driven PHOs. PHOs are really just another layer of bureaucracy in the health system.
"It is also clear that the way the Government is funding PHOs is blatantly unfair. Extra primary health funding will be channelled through those GP practices belonging to a PHO.
"The Government's discriminatory funding decision is creating inequities, not reducing them, as the increased subsidies are based on who patients are registered with, rather than the income level they earn.
"National believes the best way to deliver extra subsidies for primary health services is through the community services card, where those in the most need get subsidised doctor visits," Mr Sowry said.