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Health costs adding to living pressures

Health costs adding to living pressures

If Tony Ryall needs any evidence of why increasing numbers of people are turning up to emergency departments rather than going to their GP then he has it in new figures that reveal the cost of going to a doctor has leapt by 24 per cent since National took office , Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Statistics New Zealand’s New Zealand in Profile 2014 report shows the average cost for someone to see a general practitioner GP has gone up almost five per cent a year, or 24 per cent, since 2008.

“For many New Zealanders, particularly those on a fixed income such as superannuitants, that will have been a bitter bill to swallow and is undoubtedly why we are seeing more people turning up to EDs or waiting until they are really sick before seeing their doctor.

“Affordable health care is a basic right of Kiwis. The previous Labour government reduced the cost of visiting the doctor, with children and older people a priority.

“Under Tony Ryall’s oversight the cost is spiralling. Combined with the increase in prescription charges it is a recipe for more people turning up to emergency departments or putting off visiting their GPs and is no doubt why I’m receiving regular reports of ordinary New Zealanders struggling to meet living costs.

“The next Labour Government will again have affordable primary health care as a priority,” Annette King said.

Ends

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