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Lower Taxes, And Rebates, For Health's Sake

Lower Taxes, And Rebates, For Health's Sake

Thursday 15 Jan 2004 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Health

It is not surprising that General Practitioners are now having to charge parents directly, in order to top up the Government's subsidy of $35 per child visit, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"The bottom line is that, for many doctors, this subsidy for children aged under six years-old simply is not enough to cover the true cost of their time," Mrs Roy said.

"Most GPs run private practices, which are businesses. The doctor takes the risks, and covers the costs, this entails. Without the capacity to charge appropriately, many would be forced to close, and join their colleagues overseas for better pay and working conditions.

"There is now a global market for our skilled health professionals. If New Zealand wants to hold onto our doctors, surgeons and nurses, then we must have growth rates to bring our living standards and incomes up to those of other nations like Australia and the UK.

"This can only be achieved with major change to our economic policies, which will take time. But, in the short to medium-term, other solutions are urgently needed to ensure affordable access to healthcare, and to ensure doctors can earn incomes that will keep them in their professions and in New Zealand.

"Lower taxes, and tax rebates for health insurance, would be positive steps for both families and doctors. This would ensure that families have access to affordable, quality healthcare, while meeting the needs of health professionals, " Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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