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Doctor leaves in disgust at unfair PHO system

Doctor leaves in disgust at unfair PHO system

The story of a GP of 21 years experience leaving his job in disgust at Government changes to primary health care is further proof that the system is unfair and not working, says National Health Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.

Matamata doctor Paul Noonan is leaving his practice, rejecting the Government's new primary health organisation (PHO) structure, because funding is targeted to people of particular races, living in specific areas or going to specific medical practices. "National agrees with this doctor that funding for primary health care should be on need rather than race and location. Doctors are turning their backs on the profession they love out of sheer frustration. That's exactly what National predicted.

"Doctor's have been bullied into joining PHOs that are funded unfairly. In the end it is the patient who misses out.

"The Government crows about bringing supposed better quality care and access to people in rural areas. How does losing such an experienced doctor from a rural area in the Waikato help improve the services to rural people? The answer is it simply doesn't. "The Government has no improvements to show for the $167m it is spending on this race-based, unfair system which was brought in with no consultation. It has tried to fix something that wasn't broken instead of building on the strengths of the previous system. Now we are losing doctors because of it," Dr Scott said.

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