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PHOs giving cheaper GPs visits to Christchurch

1 July 2003

Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader
MP for Wigram

Public Health Organisations giving cheaper GPs visits to Christchurch people


Wigram MP and Progressive leader Jim Anderton says nearly five and a half thousand Canterbury people will benefit from Public Health Organisations, and an enrolled adult patient will pay only $15 to see a doctor and those under 18 will pay nothing.

Jim Anderton says Ministry of Health figures show the first PHO in the Canterbury District Health Board's area will be Canterbury Community PHO, which is based in the central city and will cater for 5,369 people.

Nearly half of all New Zealanders are now receiving cheaper health care through Primary Health Organisations (PHOs).

The Progressives campaigned for free GPs visits for all those at school and also for the elderly, and Public Health Organisations are making this possible in many areas.

It is just a year today since the first PHOs were established by the Labour Progressive Coalition Government to improve primary health care.

“It is a cause for celebration that, as of today, 1.7 million New Zealanders are getting quality health care from 47 PHOs, and more than 800,000 of them will pay no more than $20 for a visit to the doctor.

“Visits for under-sixes are already free. From October, all under 18 year olds enrolled at a PHO will receive free or low cost primary health care. From next January many older people with very poor health, as well as other people requiring high levels of care who are enrolled in PHOs, can also expect cheaper doctor visits.

“Many PHOs are also beginning to provide a comprehensive range of primary health care services including immunisation, managing diabetes, family planning, sexual health services and programmes to reduce heart disease,” said Jim Anderton.

“I know of many constituents, who have put off seeking health care because of the cost. This is an unacceptable situation for any New Zealanders. This latest development is another step in the direction the Progressives strongly support, which is to see all Doctor’s visits free of charge.

ENDS

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