CTU MEDIA RELEASE
11 September 2008
National’s health policy - what’s missing? Again.
“Workers are still left wondering whether National will remove the cap on GP fees,” Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said today.
“Cheaper doctor visits and prescriptions are very popular policies for workers. About a million people today receive low-cost primary health care, including free doctor visits for under-sixes.”
“If this is an area where National wants more user-pays, they need to be honest with workers about this.”
“From a worker's perspective lots of things make up their wage packet – not only taxes and the wage rate itself, but also the social services that impact on our incomes. And workers will be worse off if a larger tax cut is coupled with more user-pays on our roads and in our doctor clinics.”
The policy announcement also confirms National has nothing new to say on wages, Helen Kelly said.
“When it comes to lifting workers wages, all National can talk about is tax cuts. Leaving it to taxes alone is a joke. There are serious workforce issues in health, and saying tax cuts will solve recruitment and retention is wrong,” Helen Kelly said.