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Insane primary care policy must be stopped

Labour's insane primary care policy must be stopped

The Government's primary care policy has moved to the absurd level of elderly sick patients being forced to shift from their trusted doctor to an unknown one, essentially chosen by the Government, says National MP Dr Paul Hutchison.

"A 63 year old former nurse who has chronic lung disease and has attended her Drury GP for years says she is being forced to go to another practise because of Government policy that gives subsidies only to patients of practises chosen by the Ministry of Health. Only by moving to an unknown practise a few kilometres down the road does she qualify for subsidies.

"The Drury general practise was told that even though their practise had 8000 patients enrolled over a wide area around Papakura and Franklin the practise did not have the necessary 50% Polynesian / Maori mix to qualify."

Dr Hutchison says the Government policy is bureaucratic, costly and can mean that people living on the same street with same income are treated differently.

"It is unfair to patients and penalises long established practices that have run dedicated and efficient services for years.

"General practise organisations have proposed a sensible and fair alternative funding model, in which additional funding would be equitably directed at increasing subsidies for all those most in need.

"I have absolutely no doubt that the Government funding model is dreamt up by some pointy-headed academic. It is an absurd policy based on ideology and should be stopped immediately," said Dr Hutchison.

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