“New Zealand’s health system has been on a steady decline from first world status. ACT says it’s time to turn it around, starting by providing more funding for General Practices (GPs) through our upcoming alternative budget - A Time For Truth,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“The news is flooded with stories of New Zealanders being turned away from healthcare, many GP practices no longer accept patients, this means more people are forced into overflowing emergency departments and the entire health system is put under more pressure.
“There is a serious question around New Zealand’s status as a first world country as the health system continues its gradual decline. We don’t compare with across the Tasman, according to OECD data Australia has 1.74 GPs for every thousand people, in New Zealand we have only 1.22. The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners reports that in some areas GPs are servicing up to 2,500 people, almost double what is considered a safe level.
“A government-commissioned report by Sapere calculated that GP practices’ current net deficit is $137 million per annum. A GP workforce survey (2022) found that 79 per cent of GPs rate themselves as burnt-out to some degree, and 48 percent of GPs rate themselves as high on the burnout scale.
“ACT would provide General Practices with the funding boost they deserve. They play too important of a role in New Zealand’s health system for things to continue as they are.
- ACT will invest $163 million for General Practice capitation in 2023/24, with ongoing increases in outyears. This means a 13 per cent increase in funding to meet the increasing expenses being faced by GP practices.
“In tough times, it’s about being smart with money – getting it where it’s needed. Putting more funding towards primary healthcare for New Zealanders is an essential part of a modern and functioning society. We can’t let access to healthcare become a luxury in New Zealand.
“ACT’s increase provides enough funding to equal the subsidy for 2.5 million extra GP visits.
“Labour has wasted billions building a massive Wellington bureaucracy that doesn’t provide any extra care to New Zealanders in need. While increasing bureaucracy and adding co-government to health systems they have ignored frontline health workers and what matters to Kiwis – that when you need treatment you can get an appointment.
“ACT supports frontline health workers who are making a difference in Kiwis lives. That is where a stable Government would invest, not creating expensive new bureaucracies.”