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GPs are Offered One Weekend Off Every Year

GPs are Offered One Weekend Off Every Year

Thursday 12 Sep 2002 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

The much-vaunted rural doctor retention fund is proving to be nothing more than an insulting gesture, ACT Rural Affairs spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"One stressed GP in Canterbury has been offered $2,439 a year by the DHB in order to retain his services.

"A locum costs around $1,500 per weekend, so a stressed-out rural GP in need of a break is being offered 1.6 weekends off per year by Health Minister Annette King.

"This whole scheme is proving to be a total let down and will do nothing to retain rural GPs.

"Should our over-worked GPs decide to apply for more help, they must provide documentation to prove to the bureaucracy that they need it.

"A total of $216,000 has been allocated to the entire Canterbury rural region which equates to a paltry $5,000 each if they can get past the bureaucracy - a `generous' three weekends off a year.

"The Health Minister's rural health campaign is collapsing around her," Mr Eckhoff said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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