Visiting the GP is set to become more expensive after the Government ignored warnings that people were not receiving access to affordable healthcare, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.
“Over 400,000 New Zealanders who should be able to access affordable health care are not able to access lower GP fees through the low cost scheme. Across the country medical practices have been putting their fees up for adults due to this underfunding.
"Jonathan Coleman had his chance at Budget time to make a bid for extra money but didn’t bother and then told GPs last month that there was no extra money for reform.
“Already I am aware that some practices are reviewing their fees and some fees are going up. This means that people will be unable to visit their doctors because of the cost and will end up in hospital emergency departments, as has been happening in the Waikato.
“The Government had an opportunity to fix the system and make sure that people who need medical care received it.
“The Minister of Health was told by his Ministry and Treasury that there were problems with people not accessing the health care they should. The latest Health survey shows that nearly 30 per cent of adults have an unmet need for primary care.
“It’s now become a crisis with GPs having to raise their fees because of this Government’s $1.7 billion cut in health funding,” says Annette King.