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National still to scrap GP fee cap

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, October 27th, 2007 - 15 comments
Categories: national - Tags:

Peter Bradshaw, at the Guardian, reviews Michael Moore’s movie Sicko:

Last week in this paper, Seumas Milne reported on the boa-constrictor-sized parasites of US private health insurance seeking to get their fangs into the British NHS. This magnificent new film from Michael Moore is a timely reminder of the grotesque mess that Americans have made for themselves with healthcare, and how insidiously easy it would be for the same thing to happen to us, little by little.

And on the subject of health, interesting to note that the GP fee cap is still marked for removal by National.

If you thought the public outcry might have been enough to have them reconsider, you’d be dead wrong.

Tony Ryall: “In light of the response [to the removal proposal] we are prepared to consider a monitoring regime to deal with public concern about relying solely on competition and patient pressure to manage fees.”(NZ Doctor, 10 Oct 2007)

15 comments on “National still to scrap GP fee cap”

  1. Murray M 1

    Trades people are permitted to charge what they feel they are worth. In times of shortage their labour charges are astronomical. Just because GP’s receive a Govt subsidy why should they not be able to charge what they feel they are worth. Incidentally we currently have a GP shortage. I wonder why?

  2. illuminatedtiger 2

    If National get in and implement such policies I will be taking myself, my family and my much needed skills elsewhere. I cannot and will not take the risk of being in a country with a privatized health system.

  3. let’s not forget privatising ACC too

  4. burt 4

    Price controls over private enterprise. Sounds like the lefties liked Muldoon’s policies after all. Funny they don’t like Helen Clark being compared to Muldoon. Isn’t it funny how being so myopically partisan makes you look so dim witted.

  5. Luke 5

    Burt – “Price controls over private enterprise”

    Remember it is in return for a subsidy from the govt so can hardly be compared to Muldoon era price controls. It’s certainly fair enough that in return for a subsidy to keep fees affordable, the government can enforce the fact that the fees are kept affordable.

  6. r0b 6

    “Price controls over private enterprise. Sounds like the lefties liked Muldoon’s policies after all.”

    Yeah right. So tell me Burt – what is it about affordable primary health care that is so repellent to you?

    “Isn’t it funny how being so myopically partisan makes you look so dim witted.”

    First true thing you’ve said on this blog.

  7. burt 7

    rOb

    Yeah right. So tell me Burt – what is it about affordable primary health care that is so repellent to you?

    Repellant… interesting choice of word because the fee cap is certainly repelling Dr’s from NZ.

    The level of the subsidy is the way to keep them affordable, not a fee cap. Some how the issue of affordability has become an issue the effects the Dr’s income because the social policy objective of keeping GP visits affordable just couldn’t be managed if the subsidy was increased… oh no what would happen top the $8b surplus if the govt used tax payers money to deliver services to tax payers rather than restrict private enterprise.

    The social policy objective (GP visits are affordable) is a good one, the delivery of the policy is typical Labour mentality. Dr’s are rich bastards and their income should be restricted so that govt can maintain a surplus while crowing about providing subsidies.

    I understand the issue though, Labour good – National bad. Labour provide a small subsidy and restrict fee’s so Dr’s shut up shop – is that good?

  8. frank 8

    Big, typical error – confusing the process with the outcome. Fee caps are PROCESS. Keeping GP visits affordable is OUTCOME. The Nats say the process is a poor way to achieve that outcome because it penalises GPs, who then abandon their practices – or never start them up. Finding a better way actually IS an important issue. Obviously Labour isn’t interested in that.

  9. r0b 9

    Burt – “Repellant. interesting choice of word because the fee cap is certainly repelling Dr’s from NZ.”

    Oh please. There are shortages of many kinds of medical professional (not just GPs), and that arises from many complex factors (not just a GP fee cap).

    “The level of the subsidy is the way to keep them affordable”

    The level of the subsidy may indeed be a subject for debate.

    “oh no what would happen top the $8b surplus if the govt used tax payers money to deliver services to tax payers rather than restrict private enterprise.”

    Grow up Burt. Similar ranting deleted for brevity.

    Frank – “Big, typical error – confusing the process with the outcome.”

    Excellent, let’s talk about outcomes.

    “Fee caps are PROCESS. Keeping GP visits affordable is OUTCOME.

    So Frank, how do we achieve the outcome of keeping GP visits affordable?

    “Finding a better way actually IS an important issue. Obviously Labour isn’t interested in that.”

    Well I for one am interested in that. If there is a better way than fee caps then I will support it. So please tell me your suggestion Frank – how do we keep GP visits affordable?

  10. Murray M 10

    Quite easy to keep things affordable in both primary and secondary care. Reward the workers at the coal face and stop wasting so much fucking money on the desk jockies.

  11. JamesK 11

    Murray M, what percentage of health employees do you think work at the desk and how many on the front line?

  12. r0b 12

    Frank? Burt? Still waiting for your suggestions here…

  13. slightlyrighty 13

    What use is a capped, subsidised fee to visit a doctor if there is no doctor to go and visit?

  14. Robinsod 14

    Can you not find a Dr, Slightly? I’ll give you a hint – look in the green pages at the front of your phone book.

  15. slightlyrighty 15

    Robinsod.

    I have a Doc, have had for some time. However there are parts of NZ where the number of GP’s is so low that new residents cannot register with existing ones as the books are full, and retiring GP’s are not being replaced, placing more stress on those left.

    The daughter of a colleague of mine has had to find a new doc in Stokes Valley, and has been told she may have to wait 6 months to get on the books of a local GP.

    Patients in Paraparaumu are having to travel very long distances to see a GP. There are currently 750 residents waiting to enrol with a GP who cannot do so. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4240043a23955.html

    It is my understanding that some of these people are having to travel as far as New Plymouth to get treatment. There are doctors, just not enough, who are not being paid enough and put under more stress to cope with an ever increasing shortfall.

    It is for these similar reasons that we no longer have a childhood oncology specialist at wellington hospital. Labour is failing to deal with the realities of this situation

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