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Labour's New Doctor Funding Formula Exposed

Labour's New Doctor Funding Formula Exposed

"The Interim Formula for Doctors Visits released to me after weeks of suppression by the Minister of Health is hugely inequitable and racist," ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"Never before in New Zealand's history have subsidies for doctor visits been allocated based on race - this takes Labour's use of taxpayer cash to favour their key supporters to an unprecedented level.

"Doctor's organisations, to be called Primary Health Care Organisations, will be paid more by the Government for visits by Maori and Pacific Island people than for any other New Zealanders.

"Under the new Interim Formula, the great majority of female European superannuitants who do not have a community Services Card are funded at $17 a year, while female Maori and Pacific Island superannuitants are funded over three times higher at $53 a year.

The same goes for male European superannuitants, with Maori and Pacific Island male superannuitants funded at $60 a year, and Europeans at a third of this - $19 a year.

Apart from a tiny number of High Users, all Maori and Pacific Island New Zealanders are given twenty percent more than Europeans in the way of subsidies for Doctor visits.

"While the intention may be honourable, the new formula divides the whole population segregated "poor" or "non-poor" areas.

"A sole parent beneficiary living in a middle-class area will get twenty percent less assistance than a sole parent beneficiary on exactly the same income in a poor area - unless they are Maori or Pacific Island.

And a wealthy person on $100,000 , but living in a poor area, will be a winner, getting more assistance than a person of the same age but earning $25,000 in a middle class area.

"I predict there will be a race to change GPs - patients living in a ring-fenced area with doctors outside the arbitrarily-constructed "poor communities" will switch doctors in droves.

All New Zealanders should receive any health-care assistance on a needs-basis, regardless of their race or physical address. It is much fairer to treat people as individuals and consider their individual needs than lumping supposed `communities' and ethnic groups together.

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