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Government in denial about prescription costs

14 October 2013

Government in denial about prescription costs

Pharmacies are being left out of pocket and hundreds of patients are going without medication as the fallout from the Government’s higher prescription charge hits home, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“Heaping extra costs on to people already suffering is an extra unfairness on top of their ill health.

“Tony Ryall is so confident his Government’s new pricing regime is working that he doesn’t feel the need to monitor its effect.

“He recently told Parliament he received no regular reports on the impact of the cost increase, yet at the same time he was asking the Ministry of Health MOH to carry out a brief survey on exactly that.

“The only suggestion he has for people who can’t afford their medication is to trot along to Work and Income.

“The Minister is in total denial.

“Correspondence, released to Labour under the Official Information, shows there is widespread concern, with reports of mental health patients not picking up vital meds, other patients taking a ‘pick and mix’ approach to which prescriptions they can afford, and pharmacies letting people pay ‘on tick’ and subsequently being left out of pocket.

Tony Ryall, like the rest of his National Party colleagues, is completely out of touch with what is going on in the community.

“It should be hugely concerning that some of the most vulnerable and sick New Zealanders are being forced to make choices about their health based on their ability to pay.”


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