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MP Rips Up Physios Christmas Cheque

Dr Paul Hutchison
National Party Health Spokesman

21 December 2004

MP rips up physios Christmas cheque

National MP Paul Hutchison has stepped in to support physiotherapists who stand to lose their businesses as a result of new Government controls.

He has ripped up a cheque sent to him by physiotherapists in protest against the controls.

Private physiotherapy providers have sent a cheque to all Parliamentarians for $16.89 to highlight the fact ACC has paid out the same amount for physiotherapy services for the last 15 years - that is for those who do not join the Government's Endorsed Provider Network (EPN). The EPN, which started in April, allows the Government to control physiotherapists' prices.

Dr Hutchison says the EPN will make it incredibly difficult for physiotherapists who do not choose the new scheme to compete with the fully funded 'free' scheme."

The new scheme, which about 25% of physiotherapists have joined, does not consider cost disparities, such as rent or equipment. In addition, it only allows physiotherapists to charge a fee in restricted circumstances.

Dr Hutchison says that the EPN is another example of classic Labour control politics.

"It is a continuum of Ruth Dyson's effort to make small businesses dependent on the Government for their survival. Eventually it will lead to a fully funded salary system, leaving patients with no choice, queuing, and poor patient care."


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