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Fine tuning missing from free visit plan

Fine tuning missing from free visit plan

Plans to provide free GP visits to under 13-year-olds are beginning to unravel before the ink has even dried on the Budget document that announced the proposal, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

“Doctors need to know how much they will receive to subsidise these free visits before they sign up to the voluntary scheme.

“Yet this basic fact seems to have escaped the Government. Under questioning in Parliament today Associate Health Minister Michael Woodhouse claimed the amount was in the Budget documents. It is not.

“He then obfuscated about what the dollar figure was likely to be before admitting he ‘wasn’t in a position to answer that’.

“That leaves GPs unable to commit to extending free visits for kids.

“After it was pointed out that the New Zealand Medical Association is warning the cost to adults visiting their GPs may have to rise unless the subsidy is sufficient, John Key’s response was a terse ‘they always say that.'

“That kind of cynicism will only add to doctors’ suspicions they are being used as election fodder.

“Affordable primary health care was a hallmark of Labour’s time in Government. Extending free visits to under-13s is a welcome move and goes some way to restoring previous cuts made by this National government.”

Ends

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Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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