Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

More affordable primary health care for all in PHO


More affordable primary health care for all in PHOs


All New Zealanders belonging to Primary Health Organisations – currently over 3.5 million people - will be entitled to cheaper primary health care such as doctors’ visits and prescriptions by July 2007, up to five years earlier than first anticipated.

In a joint announcement today, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Health Minister Annette King say the Government will inject an extra $415.7 million over three years to provide more affordable primary health care for everyone belonging to PHOs, as well as a standard prescription charge of not more than $3 per item, higher subsidies for influenza injections for older people, and other benefits.

“Almost all New Zealanders are expected to benefit because of the huge momentum PHOs have developed.

“Just two years after the first two PHOs were established in South Auckland, 3.57 million New Zealanders now belong to PHOs, and some two million of them are already entitled to cheaper doctors’ visits and subsidised prescription items even without this latest investment.”

Helen Clark and Annette King say the cheaper doctors’ visits and cheaper prescriptions will be rolled out for 18 to 24 year-olds in July next year, for 45 to 64-year-olds in July 2006, and for the rest of New Zealanders, the 25 to 44-year-olds, in July 2007.

“Improving access to the 18-24 age group can have a lifelong impact on health in areas like mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual health. The more we can get prevention messages across to younger people, the better.

“It is also important to include the 45-64 age group as soon as we can, because they suffer more from chronic illnesses, are more frequent users of the health system, and have higher avoidable rates of hospital admissions.

“This final rollout of funding to implement the Primary Health Care Strategy will cost an extra $58.3 million in 2005-06, $144.9 million in 2006-07 and $212.5 million in 2007-08.

“In total, the Government will have committed $1.7 billion over six years from 2002-03 specifically for implementing the Strategy using the PHO model.

“The first modest contribution of $48 million was provided in 2002-03. In 2007-08 it will reach $492.5 million, and funding will increase every year after that to ensure it retains its real value.

“This high level of investment in delivering low-cost, accessible, and equitable primary health care services to all New Zealanders has been unheard of previously.”

Ms King said she had originally estimated it would take eight to 10 years to provide funding to implement the Strategy.

“I was clearly too cautious, and underestimated the enthusiasm with which the PHO model would be adopted. The new funding the Government is announcing today will be used to fast-track universal low cost health care far more quickly than I had ever believed was possible.

“The Government was determined to provide funding for low-cost health care firstly for those who needed it most, and since then we have rolled out the funding for under-18s, and, from this month, for all over-65s belonging to PHOs. We have also invested an extra $26 million this year in the Care Plus programme aimed at helping people suffering from chronic illnesses no matter where they live in New Zealand. The value of what the Government is doing can clearly be seen in the fact that the average co-payment now paid by people over-65 visiting the doctor is $22.88.

“That’s great news. Delivering accessible and affordable primary health care is fundamental to improving the health of all New Zealanders and turning round some of our worst health statistics.”

Helen Clark says PHOs, with their emphasis on a range of health professionals providing health care, including prevention and promotion, to an enrolled population, can improve the overall health of all New Zealanders.

“They give us one of the best chances we've had in years of truly making a difference to the quality of life in this country. This is a strategy that is for everyone. We all deserve good health care and this Government is committed to providing it.”

A PHO is a group of providers whose job is to look after all the people enrolled with them. The group will always include a family doctor and may also include nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, Maori health providers, mental health workers, Pacific health providers, community health workers, and others.

People can call 0800-HLTH-4-U (0800-458-448) for information on PHOs.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election