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Rejection of elderly patients by GPs alarming

Jo Goodhew MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman (Aged Care)

18 November 2006

Rejection of elderly patients by GPs alarming

Reports that elderly people in Canterbury are unable to register for care with GPs is alarming, says National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Jo Goodhew.

“This is another symptom of Labour’s primary health care strategy failing to deliver adequate levels of care where it is needed most,” says Mrs Goodhew, the MP for Aoraki.

She is commenting on a Christchurch Press report today that over-65s in Canterbury and South Canterbury are unable to register with GPs because of the high cost to treat them.

“The report suggests that the problem is not isolated to Canterbury.

“I am shocked that GPs are choosing what type of patients they are willing to register.

“The Labour-led Government has set up a complex system that does not target the primary health care spend adequately. Elderly people with chronic conditions will be stigmatised by this funding mechanism if the Government doesn’t move immediately to sort this issue out.

“During many visits to aged-care facilities around New Zealand, I have heard reports of elderly folk who, having moved into a rest home and away from their previous GP, have been unable to find a new doctor.

“Every New Zealander with a chronic health condition needs to be reassured that they are not seen as undesirable patients by GPs, and Health Minister Pete Hodgson needs to start by acknowledging that there’s a serious problem.

“The elderly are no less deserving of care than any other New Zealander.”

Ends

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