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Survey shows cost less of a barrier to GP care

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

29 April 2008 Media Statement
Survey shows cost less of a barrier to GP care

The Minister of Health, David Cunliffe says the largest-ever survey of New Zealanders' health shows more people now have better access to primary health care.

“New Zealanders not only can afford to see their GPs more often but they are extremely positive about the care they receive.”

"The provisional results show the Primary Health Care Strategy and the Government's significant investment of $2.2 billion over the past seven years to lower the cost of primary health care has made a real difference," said Mr Cunliffe.

More than 17,000 adults and children were interviewed, weighed and measured as part of the Ministry of Health's New Zealand Health Survey from October 2006 to November 2007.

"The proportion of adults reporting they needed to see a GP, but could not,
for various reasons including cost, has almost halved from 13 percent in to 7 percent. For children, this same figure has also decreased markedly, from 7 percent to 4 percent," said Mr Cunliffe.

"This is really great news, especially for all those thousands of people
who were missing out and can now get the care they need."

Maori children and Maori and Pacific adults were more likely to not have been able to see their GP when they needed to in the previous 12 months, and Maori children and adults were more likely to have cost as a barrier
to accessing GP services.

“The survey results reflect the drive in recent years to lower the cost of primary health care for all New Zealanders, one of the biggest changes in the health sector since the last health survey in 2002/03,” said Mr Cunliffe.

“Patients also said they had a good experience of primary health care, with nine out of 10 people saying their health professional treated them with respect and dignity all the time.”


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