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Health Minister abandons patients

Health Minister abandons patients

Port Waikato MP Dr Paul Hutchison is accusing the Health Minister of abandoning a South Auckland general practice and its patients.

"The practice is not far from Papakura and has approximately 8,000 patients.

"Under new Government rules it misses out on subsidies," says the National Party MP.

Dr Hutchison says the Government's primary health policy is utterly unfair, and in this instance has meant that neighbours may get totally different levels of health funding by virtue of which doctor they go to.

"National firmly believes that scarce health resources should go to those most in need, but under Annette King's scheme, a large proportion of well off people get the subsidies," Dr Hutchison says.

"Elderly patients who have gone to the doctor they trusted for over 16 years, are financially forced to go to another practice of the Government's choosing - not because of the quality of service, but because that practice has been seduced by the Minister and will do her beckoning.

"The Health Minister's policy must be abandoned before practices and patients throughout the country are affected beyond repair," he says.

"Labour's primary health care policy appears to be ideologically driven by people like Professor Peter Davis, who was sacked for the part he played in running down one of the biggest hospital boards in the country.

"I have written to the Minister on numerous occasions, but she has failed to offer any useful solutions," says Dr Hutchison.

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