28 January 2010

The NZMA is concerned about recent political comment regarding the issue of enrolled general practice fees.

“We have heard suggestions that the Government is planning general practice fee increases.  The fact is that it is not the Government’s role to set general practice fees. The Government does not raise or lower GP fees. The level of fees is essentially a matter for practices which must determine the fee level necessary to ensure their viability,” says NZMA Chair Dr Peter Foley.

“The NZMA has always maintained the view that it is the right of private sector medical practitioners to set and charge a fee that is based on the services they provide.”

“ However, the Government can and does provide capitated patient subsidies which may  reduce the cost to patients of visiting their enrolled general practice,” says Dr Foley.

“ If the subsidy level is changed this can influence the cost to patients.”

Dr Foley said that general practice had done well to hold fees at their current levels during these tough financial times.