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Patients bear brunt of ACC shambles

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Patients being charged up to $40 extra for treatment of an injury should be demanding a refund from Murray McCully and Wyatt Creech, Labour ACC spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today.

"Labour has been warning for months that patients would pay the price of Mr McCully's ill-thought out ACC reforms. The Government blundered on, and only now is Mr McCully's colleague, the Health Minister Wyatt Creech, looking into the compliance costs loaded onto doctors.

"The new workplace accident report forms are complicated and designed to suit the needs of the insurance companies, not the doctor or patient. GPs are now spending more time filling in forms than treating the injury. 25 minutes on one patient's paperwork is not unusual. And the patient is having to pay.

"The chairwoman of the Wellington Independent Practice Association, Cathy O'Malley has put it plainly. "GP's are caught in the middle because they have to do this for people, but they are not going to pick up the cost, so unfortunately patients are having to face the music."

"Also alarming are reports that some patients are asking doctors not to complete the forms because of the extra time and cost. As a result, workplace accidents will go unreported.

"National's right-wing ideology has got in the way of common-sense," Ruth Dyson said. The next Labour Government will remove private insurance companies from providing workplace insurance, and will remove the red tape that is entangling doctors and is costing their patients."

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