Anger at Nat plan to boost GP fees

Lots of promises, lower tax for the rich, privatazation of healthcare (like in America) yep John Key and nats are finally showing their true colors

Public health groups are angry at National Party plans to remove caps on doctors’ fees if it wins next year’s election.

National announced yesterday it would scrap the Government’s controls on general practitioners’ fees, meaning patients could pay more to see their doctor.

Party leader John Key said “market forces” would ensure costs did not skyrocket, and if people felt they were being charged too much they could “go down the road” to another doctor.

While no guarantees could be given over fee rises, Key said, doctors should be trusted and were not solely concerned about money.

Union and Community Health, which has two Christchurch clinics catering to lower-income Pacific Islanders and Maori, said removing fee caps would be “catastrophic” and increase the “gap between the well and unwell” in New Zealand.

“I would say without a doubt the fees would go up,” general manager Genelle Gordon said.

“And, as usual, the people most affected by that will be those on lower incomes or fixed incomes – the very people who already have the worst health disparities, worst health stats.”

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