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utting cost of doctor visits for all the family

Monday, 15 August 2005

UF cutting cost of doctor visits for all the family

Parents will pay no more than $20 for their doctor visits, their schoolchildren no more than $10 and under-sixes will be free under United Future's health policy launched today

"Essentially, we're extending low-cost GP visits to all families," United Future leader Peter Dunne said in jointly launching the policy with deputy leader and health spokeswoman, Judy Turner.

"Our biggest concern is that families are unable to go to the doctor because of the cost. Many find the money to get their children there when needed, but too often mums and dads sacrifice their own health and don't go because of the cost. We are addressing that directly," Mrs Turner said.

"Mum or dad being ill doesn't help themselves or their children," she said.

United Future believes it is time to make visits to the family doctor affordable for all families, she said.

There are currently 1.4 million New Zealanders who do not qualify for a subsidy. Approximately 450,000 are parents who pay on average $43 - but sometimes up to $60 - to see a doctor.

"When the average wage is $438 a week, a doctor's visit can be anything from 10 to 15 percent of that - and that's a jolt for any family struggling to make ends meet," Mr Dunne said.

"United Future is restoring the concept of the family doctor for all the family."

ENDS

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