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Primary health funding discriminatory

Dr Lynda Scott National Health Spokesperson

30 August 2002

Primary health funding discriminatory - briefing papers

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that the Government is blatantly unfair to patients in the way it is funding Primary Health Organisations, says Dr Lynda Scott.

Briefing papers released today on the Government's major restructuring of the family doctor practice through new Primary Health Organisations, show that the funding of the new PHOs discriminates against some patients.

"The papers show that areas with high populations of Maori and Pacific Island people or people who are classified as 'deprived' will receive funding ahead of similar high-needs patients who live in more well-off areas.

"National shares the same concerns about serious inequities in funding of PHOs that the New Zealand Medical Association raised in their Red Letter last month.

"These briefing papers show there are no strategies in place to address the concerns of the organisations who will have to implement Primary Health Organisations, which will be the end of the family doctor practice as we know it.

"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," Dr Scott said.

Ends

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