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Patients To Suffer Under Labour Bribe


Patients To Suffer Under Labour Bribe

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today accused the Labour Government of re-packaging yet another pre-election voter bribe, this time with a big sell of accelerating its primary healthcare PHO roll out.

"Health Minister Annette King says that she underestimated people's enthusiasm to join PHOs, but the real story is that doctors have been forced into a corner - if they don't join a PHO, their patients will miss out on cheaper healthcare," Mrs Roy said.

"The real cost of this move will be the continuing growth of hospital waiting lists. Priority injections into the primary sector mean that hospitals' funding is suffering. Between 30,000-40,000 people have already been knocked off waiting lists, and this number will only grow while Labour neglects hospitals at the expense of pursuing cheaper doctor visits.

"The Government is yet to produce any evidence that cheaper primary healthcare has led to more people visiting General Practitioners and better health outcome. Cost is only one of many factors preventing people from going to their family doctor

"Labour's initiatives completely ignore the real problems in General Practice: that of severe shortages of GPs - not only in the rural areas but, also, in the cities. The introduction of PHOs has reduced choice for patients, and has failed to stem the rising tide of doctors no longer considering General Practice as a viable career option.

"It is no coincidence that we are seeing election year initiatives with doctor visits alongside election year funding for asset testing and increased family support. While Labour trails National, we can expect to see more vote buying, and more spin.

"Thanks to this Government, doctors will continue to move away from General Practice, and things will only get worse for patients," Mrs Roy said.

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