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Labour’s ideology stalls GP negotiations

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party Health Spokesman


Labour’s ideology stalls GP negotiations

The Labour Government’s ideology is getting in the way of it keeping its own election promises, says National’s Health spokesman, Tony Ryall.

“Labour’s moves to control GP fees will undermine general practice and make it all the more difficult for New Zealand to recruit and retain GPs.”

He is commenting on the issuing of a ‘red letter’ to GPs by GP leaders directing them not to sign agreements with their PHOs for the July rollout of the patient subsidy for 45 to 64-year-olds.

Mr Ryall says Pete Hodgson had aimed to reach an agreement by April this year, but negotiations collapsed because of his arrogance and incompetence as Health Minister.

“Mr Hodgson should have learnt from his predecessor Annette King, who was personally in charge of the negotiations and successfully handled the previous subsidy rollouts.

“Instead, he has given the job to DHB managers, which is a recipe for disaster.

“GPs have agreed to pass on all the increased subsidy to patients. What more does the Government want?

“There are two reasons why people should be worried. The immediate issue is that the Government can’t keep its election promise of cheaper GP visits for 45 to 64-year-olds. The other is that controlling GP fees will mean there will be fewer GPs in the future.

“Mr Hodgson’s incompetence will make it even harder to get a GP, which is the exact opposite of what he actually wants to do,” says Mr Ryall.

Ends

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