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PHO rollout agreement a victory for families

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister of Health

20 June 2006 Media Statement

PHO rollout agreement a victory for families

Health Minister Pete Hodgson has welcomed news from General Practitioners and District Health Boards that agreement has been reached on the 1 July rollout of the Primary Health Care Strategy.

"Affordable doctors visits and low-cost prescription drugs are the hallmarks of a health system that works for all families," Pete Hodgson said.

"The Primary Health Care Strategy (PHCS) has been a top priority for the Labour-led government and its implementation to date has been a major achievement for the New Zealand health community.

"Today's announcement from GPs and District Health Boards is a welcome sign that the PHCS is future-proofed and here to stay. I want to thank the GP leaders and DHB representatives who have devoted countless hours over the last few months to make sure today's outcome could be achieved.

"It was by no means an easy process, but I am pleased that an agreement has been reached that meets the needs of GPs and ensures the value of the government's $2.2 billion primary health investment is protected."

Today's announcement means that all 81 Primary Health Organisations have agreed to a contract enabling the rollout of low cost doctors visits and affordable prescription drugs for 45-64 year olds from 1 July.

These subsidies become universal from next year with the rollout of the strategy to the 25-44 year old age group.

ENDS

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