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Subsidised prescriptions to be more accessible

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

26 June 2008 Media Statement

Subsidised prescriptions to be made more accessible.

Minister of Health David Cunliffe said the Government is currently working through proposals to expand the number of health professionals who can prescribe medications at a cost of $3 to patients.

Currently anyone enrolled in a PHO, of which four million New Zealanders are, can access prescriptions at a cost of just $3.

Mr Cunliffe said the Government was now looking to increase the number of providers who can prescribe the subsidised prescription to include any provider public or private who has an access arrangement or service agreement with a PHO or District Health Board.

For example the expansion would ensure patients receiving prescriptions by after-hours providers who have access or service agreements with DHBs or PHOs would also receive the $3 prescriptions.

Mr Cunliffe said the National Party’s press release today stating that hospital waiting lists were set to grow and health insurance premium were set to sky rocket as a result as a change in government policy on pharmaceuticals was complete and utter rubbish.

“The National Party’s statement is either deliberately misleading or ignorant.”

Mr Cunliffe said patients treated in private hospitals still received pharmaceutical subsidies although at a different rate.

“The National Party are clearly getting desperate, on Friday that had the embarrassment of public back-down on GP fees and today they make outlandish and ill-informed comments on prescriptions.”

Prescriptions written by private specialists who do not have an access agreement with a DHB cost on average $15 - there is no plan to alter this.


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