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Soaring medical costs hit the elderly

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Soaring medical costs hit the elderly

United Future leader, Peter Dunne, says the survey of doctors’ fees released today is graphic evidence of the increasing difficulties faced by the elderly in accessing medical care.

The Ministry of Health survey shows that for patients aged over 65, the average cost of a visit to the doctor was $43 in February and $48 in July.

“So just at the time when New Zealanders need increased healthcare, it is becoming more and more expensive for them to do so,” said Mr Dunne.

“And it’s not just doctors’ fees. For those who have medical insurance, they find the premiums going up the older they get and the more in need of healthcare than ever before.

“One solution to ease the burden could be a tax rebate to assist with the insurance premiums, coupled with a determined drive by the Primary Health Organisations to keep doctors’ fees down so that elderly New Zealanders can get the healthcare they have been paying taxes for all their lives,” said Mr Dunne.

ENDS


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