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GP Charges Show Need For Free Heath Care

21 August 2002

GP Charges Show Need For Free Heath Care

The introduction of $660 annual fees by an Auckland GP highlights the need for free GPs visits to be available, or many families will miss out on health care, Progressive MP Matt Robson says.

“Some families are never going to be able to afford $660 a year for GP services. Many cannot even afford the cost of a single consultation,” Matt Robson said.

“No one suggests that GPs should be stopped from charging if they think people will pay. But there also has to be a guarantee of prompt, high quality, free health care existing alongside any system that imposes heavy medical costs on families.

“It is estimated that a third of hospital admissions are avoidable. Free GP visits will heavily reduce the number of avoidable admissions and ultimately save the taxpayer money.”

The Labour-Progressive coalition government has introduced free doctors visits for low-income individuals with high health needs.

Next year, a Progressive Coalition policy of free doctors visits for all school children will be introduced, followed by free doctors visits for the elderly.

Matt Robson said the Progressive Coalition is the only parliamentary party committed to free doctors visits.

“Free health care is a fundamental defining issue. Everyone who is opposed to free doctors visits believes that every family should have to pay the $660 fee being imposed by an Auckland doctor or else go without essential medical care.”

Ends

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