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Don’t Increase Prescription Charges – NZ First

Barbara Stewart MP

Spokesperson for Health

14 May 2012

Don’t Increase Prescription Charges – NZ First

New Zealand First says the 60 per cent increase in prescription charges will hurt lower income families and the elderly and should not go ahead.

This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement that the increase from $3 to $5 will raise $40 million a year so more money could be used for front-line services.

Health spokesperson Barbara Stewart says the government is simply ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ as it makes no sense to impose higher health costs on families and old people struggling to make ends meet.

“The problem is the government is cutting back on health funding in real terms and then switching funds from the health needs of one section of the community to another section.

“The government is simply playing one set of patients off against another group and making out it is doing something benevolent.

“In the long run, the state paying most of a prescription charge is far cheaper than the other option – a long term hospital stay,” says Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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