Pressure mounts on general practices to up their game – but at what cost?

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Pressure mounts on general practices to up their game – but at what cost?

old typewriter

Guest writer

Surmounting obstscles
The funding gap is putting some general practices at risk

Pam Newlove can find no commercial sense in the funding model that holds general practice in its grip

Continuing private sector subsidisation of primary care at current levels runs the risk of a complete collapse of service delivery in some areas


Brilliant article from a coal face expert in the field! If only our Minister & ministry had this insight...

This should be a template for our representatives, including our beloved College...

We currently receive $1.06 in 2004 dollar terms (up from $1.05 last year) when the Reserve Bank Inflation calculator places the 2004 $1 at $1.35. Considering no additional increases have occurred this represents a cut in funding of 22%.

Fee Review places constraints on co-payment increases and does not account for the above. Nor does Sapere. Fee Review is supposedly tasked with "ensuring the viability of General Practice". This is not ensuring the viability of a specific General Practice but the wording of the Agreement states "of General Practice". So the entire sector. Do they do this? No. They apply constraints simply by making the process confrontational and expensive. Fee Review is immoral and those who participate in it are without scruples.There is no other business in New Zealand that is subjected to this process. There is no other business in New Zealand that is repeatedly asked to do more for less - and to fund the difference themselves. Is there any wonder General Practice is in trouble? And this is before we even start the discussion about medical inflation. 

The College and NZMA surely MUST post a reply to this article.

I doubt the Ministry understood a sentence of this Pam.



I dont teally want to reply to this; because my answer is overwhelmingly negative/bitter. Accordingly; I will let someone vastly smarter and less acerbic reply. Check it out. The demise of primary care. Sanctioned by our own Profession.

Sadly, this is what happens when we have had absent representation at all levels including funding. Increasingly hard to right the Titanic now Rose...