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PHO Race-Based Funding Squanders Millions

Dr Lynda Scott
National Health Spokeswoman

28 January 2004

PHO race-based funding squanders millions

The Labour Government's race-based PHO funding formula is squandering millions of health dollars that won't make a jot of difference to Maori mortality, says National's Health spokeswoman Dr Lynda Scott.

She is responding to comments by Mrs King in an attack on National Leader Dr Don Brash after his speech in Orewa yesterday.

"Labour's funding decision that sees Access PHO's funded at much higher levels than other PHO's is race-based.," Dr Scott says.

"To qualify for the higher levels of funding and much cheaper doctor visits, an area has to have 50% Maori, Pacific Island and low-income families."

She says the remaining 50% of the population can earn as much money as they like, but they still qualify for much cheaper health care.

"International evidence shows poverty and ill health are the two factors driving higher death rates regardless of what the race of the person is.

"Instead of concentrating on race-based funding, the Minister of Health should focus increased funding on individual patient need based on their income and health status regardless of their race, or where they live.

"National does care about Maori health. That is why we developed innovative ways of delivering health services to Maoris in the 1990's, but it was based on need.

"A National Government would continue to work to improve the health of all New Zealanders especially those who are poor and have high health needs. We would reverse Labour's funding formula and base it on individual patient need, not race.

"Annette King's personal attack on Dr Brash does little to enhance her reputation."


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