Fees argument cranks up: Billing for GP time ‘gets in the way of care'

System futures

Fees argument cranks up: Billing for GP time ‘gets in the way of care'

Hokianga Health provides community and general practice services as well as secondary care in a small hospital with ED
Money gets in the way and is inimical to the trust and understanding needed for healthcare Hokianga GP Steve Main is adding fuel to the fees-deb


It is all very well for those who get an unfair generous slice of the miserly Government primary health funding along with handsome salaries and benefits to criticise those of us who have to charge fees and have to pay for our own holidays, CME, sick leave, Super etc, When was the last time anyone on a health salary accepted a cut in income to subsidise their low income patients?

Why are your rich patients fully subsidised by the tax dollar, Steve, when even my very low income patients have to pay something because of the grossly unfair "population based" PHO and particularly VLCA system which targets type and location of practice?

Oh, and a few rebuttals:

   ► The Government (of any colour) just could not afford to pay all GPs a salary and benefits (along with the added army of managers it thinks we would need to do their bidding);

   ► The more you spend, the more GST you pay so I pay a small amount for a bicycle and a Fiesta while my salaried colleagues pay far more GST for their Merc;

   ► New Zealand is egalitarian, in general everyone has similar opportunities so I could come from a low income family and still go to Medical School.  Equal opportunity does not mean we disincentivise those who study, work, innovate  and invest. That system has another name.

Good points Keith but VLCA does NOT target type and location of practice!!! Where I work the practice with the wealthiest patients & the highest proportion of high decile patients and lowest proportion of low decile patients is VLCA. VLCA is a disgusting rort.

My concern is I do not trust any Government. We are >50% behind in our funding after 15 years. General Practice is broken beyond repair. The only hope would be being on the SMO contract, something they'd be opposed to I'm sure.

Which just proves that health targeting has to be based on individual need, not profiling which is illegal in most other areas particularly policing and crime management.

Absolutely Keith, but health is no longer about health, it's about politics and shameless vote buying.