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A Step In The Right Direction – GPs

13 March 2002

The Royal NZ College of General Practitioners welcomed the Government’s announcement of increased funding for primary health care today. “It’s a step in the right direction” said the College President Dr Helen Rodenburg.

Commenting on the release of new funding details for primary health care, Dr Rodenburg welcomed the targeting of funding to those with high health needs. “It is important to ensure that those who have high health needs, such as Maori, Pacific Peoples, old and young, have easy access to health care and we support such an approach, said Dr Rodenburg. The College also welcomed the Government’s release of a three -year implementation plan, which allowed providers to plan ahead and the ring-fencing of primary health care funding.

The College was pleased to see that the needs of rural primary health care (including rural general practitioners) were recognised as a priority by Cabinet.
“Whilst the Government is working to reduce cost and improve access to primary health care services, evidence shows that in order to get the best health gains for the population, resources need to be applied to strengthening existing providers and infrastructures.” Dr Rodenburg said.

However, the College questioned whether there are enough resources allocated to achieve the planned objectives such as health promotion services. “Most of the funding appears to be going into improving access to primary health care. This is laudable, however, to reduce unplanned hospital admissions, we need to ensure that health professionals are resourced to provide more preventative care and with easy access to all general practitioners.” she said.


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