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General Practitioners A Dying Breed

General Practitioners A Dying Breed

Tuesday 24 Feb 2004 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today expressed concern - but not surprise - at the Royal College of General Practice's survey finding that full-time independent General Practitioners may be a dying breed in New Zealand.

"This news is not really news at all - Labour is using its two-tiered Primary Health Organisation system to bring the entire health sector under State control," Mrs Roy said.

"As result, the Government is slowly killing the New Zealand institution of General Practice. Today, there are only around 20 GPs left in the country who deliver babies yet, once upon a time, GPs cared for patients from the cradle to the grave.

"GPs' success has always depended on their ability to practice as owner-operators. Primary Health Organisations make it increasingly difficult for them to do so. Now, graduates and seasoned health professionals are heading overseas for better pay and working conditions.

"The average age of the New Zealand GP is now over 50 years old. This is sector of New Zealand healthcare aging rapidly, and will continue to do so. Few medical graduates see General Practice as a viable career option. Labour's implementation of its primary health strategy is driving GPs out of their practices, and severe shortages are being felt nationwide.

"Labour's plan, to turn GPs into State employees through Primary Health Organisations, means that fewer and fewer graduates will move into General Practice - Labour's plan is to have complete control over every aspect of New Zealand healthcare," 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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