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More flexible funding for general practice teams

Health minister Tony Ryall Tuesday 06 August 2013, 10:56AM

Media release from health minister Tony Ryall
 
Health Minister Tony Ryall has asked the Ministry of Health to work with primary health organisations and general practice networks over the next few months to extend the claiming of General Medical Subsidy (GMS) to other health professionals within the general practice team.
 
"This is designed as an enabler for team-based integrated care," says Mr Ryall.
 
"This proposed change is neither about encouraging independent practice nor additional public spending - it's about recognising GPs, practice nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists who work as a team to care for patients.
 
"Historically only GPs have been able to access the GMS subsidy. The subsidy is claimed for seeing children and people with community services cards that are not enrolled with the practice providing the service.
 
"This will allow health professionals within the general practice team to generate claims, which supports multi-disciplinary care - this is the same model used for ACC claims.
 
"The way patients are cared for by general practice teams has changed significantly since the GMS fee was introduced in 1993 and the current GMS claiming rules often lead to unnecessary duplication.
 
"For example, a young child loses their asthma inhaler while on holiday; the parents take them to the local general practice to see a nurse practitioner who is able to prescribe them a new inhaler. In order to get the GMS subsidy for seeing a child not enrolled with their practice, the GP has to attend the appointment as well, even though the nurse practitioner has provided the care for the child.
 
"Rules around extending the GMS subsidy will be developed in the coming months with input from primary health care groups, including General Practice New Zealand, College of Primary Health Care Nurses, the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioner Council.
 
"It is not intended for this extension to apply to non-general practice clinics.
 
"We are aiming for the new subsidy arrangements to come into effect by the end of the year," says Mr Ryall.

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