Green light from minister for primary care-led funding review


Green light from minister for primary care-led funding review

A meeting on Monday saw health minister David Clark outline plans for the primary care sector
Terms of reference are being developed for a review of primary healthcare funding with the new health minister stating he wants the review to be le, NZMA chair Kate Baddock says primary care representatives had an open and frank meeting with new health minister David Clark on Monday, Kate Baddock 2016


Equity in any new funding model is a bottom line. Anyone representing Primary Care on any future committee must leave their historical VLCA bias behind and start representing the whole sector, if they feel they can't fully commit to this then it's time to step away. I fear June 2019 will be too late for many Access practices crushed by the rort that is the unfair competition from their VLCA neighbouring practices, especially some of the massive VLCA empires that now exist... The game has been played very well to keep the lucrative opposition decimating VLCA gravy train going for as long as possible.

The fact the new Minister is not backing down on his election promise beggars belief. The VLCA practices don't need any more subsidy, it's the Access practices that need the funding, it's insane. It will now effectively make them free & the Access funded practices unable to compete. In Whangarei that's 25,000 patients looking for new GPs and medical centers and GPs in a region with a very, very rapidly dwindling GP workforce! It can't be allowed to happen, we need a solution. Sadly it looks like the Minister has been getting some very biased and crooked advice.

So the Minister wants the review "led by primary care" and yet he is starting by having Terms of Reference decided by the Ministry and "primary care representatives" which usually means PHO managers, a midwife and a Nurse Practitioner and no "real GP" as we are too busy seeing patients for a junket trip to Wellington. This will then ensure the review cannot look at alternatives to the PHO model or remove the VLCA inequity. The only real representative we have is Kate Baddock (NZMA Chair and practising GP) who can represent all General Practice (VLCA or Access or Independent; Self-employed or salaried; solo, small or large clinic; city, small town rural or remote rural; Vocationally Registered or General; etc), so if she isn't involved, it will be another massive waste of tax payer money.

The "other key pre-election health policy was to reduce GP fees for all patients" statement should be examined more closely as it may sound great as a slogan but fails to address at least two key issues. The first is that "all New Zealanders"  never includes the approximately 300,000 New Zealanders outside the PHO system so you may have noticed David Clark now has dropped the "all" from the term "all New Zealanders". Secondly it fails to look at how forcing low fees on General Practice can adversely impact on practice viability and patient access.