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Progressives proud of health achievements

1 October 2003

Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Progressives proud of health achievements

Matt Robson said his Progressive Party takes particular pride in the recent decision by the Labour-Progressive coalition to bring forward by one year plans to accelerate a $47 million investment to make primary health care more affordable for older New Zealanders. "In its first term, the coalition government commenced a review of its health delivery policies and programmes. During the review, Jim Anderton negotiated with Labour that priority should be given to lowering the costs of access to primary health care for older New Zealanders and from next July people will reap the benefits," Matt Robson said.

As a result, from July 1 next year, all New Zealanders aged 65 and over and enrolled in a PHO can get low patient fees and pay only $3 for prescriptions. And the young are benefiting: from today, children and young people aged between 6 and 17 years and enrolled at Interim PHOs will be eligible for low patient fees.

“PHOs have been a huge success. With the seven new PHOs added today the total is now 2.1 million,” said Mr Robson. “The young, the elderly and the chronically ill are the people who need primary health care the most – and the Government has made it cheaper and more accessible for them.”

Now, 2.1 million New Zealanders are now enrolled with the 53 Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) across New Zealand, with more than 1 million paying no more than $22 to visit their regular health provider.

Ministry of Health figures show the PHOs in the Counties Manukau District Health Board's area are now caring for almost 410,000 people. PHOs are local organisations of health professionals implementing the Government’s Primary Health Care Strategy through primary health care services.


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