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
"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
"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
"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
"It is not intended for this extension to apply to non-general
"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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