The head of the Waipareira Trust says the high cost of GP visits forces poorer patients to go to the hospital instead.. or not see a doctor at all.

It’s unhappy about the Government breaking its promise to cut the cost of going to the doctor by $10.

John Tamihere recommends low-income patients who fall ill after hours should go straight to hospital – instead of forking out for private medical centres.

“You can’t throw a switch at 5.30pm and go from $15 a visit to a doctor to $92. You really need to lift primary care up the front.”

However, The Finance Minister, Grant Robertson is denying the Government has gone back on its promise for a 10 dollar reduction in visits to the doctor.

“No, I wouldn’t say that at all. As I say we would wait for people to see the announcement that we are making and as we face some of those large deficits the District Health boards have got, we’ve had to make some decisions about the phasing of our programme.”

Source: Newstalk ZB

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