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Patients to bear the brunt of Acc shambles

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The New Zealand Medical Association has got it dead right - the Government's privatisation of workplace accident insurance is a shambles, Labour ACC spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today.

"GP's have been caught up in Murray McCully's ill-thought out plans and in the end patients will pay the price.

"The Medical Association is echoing the concerns Labour has been voicing for months.

"From the first of July, doctors treating someone with a work-related injury will have to spend 10 to 15 minutes filling out a complicated form. Inevitably, patients will pay for that extra time.

"The system is designed to suit the needs of the insurance company, not the doctor or patient. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that some doctors are threatening not to provide work accident treatment.

"Mr McCully's response is typical. The Government's $26 per patient GP subsidy is under review, as it hasn't been raised since 1992. The Minister has warned there will be no increase, if doctors don't absorb the cost of the ACC changes.

"Murray McCully should stop being a bully. It is his drive to privatise which is the root of the problem. Right-wing ideology has got in the way of common sense.

"The next Labour Government will remove private insurance companies from providing workplace accident insurance, and will remove the red tape that is about to entangle doctors and their patients," Ruth Dyson said.

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