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Subsidies For GPs' Visits : Agreement Reached

Dialogues between District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisations, (PHOs), which faced difficulties late last month, has now been resolved //, with both parties reaching an agreement on the extension of subsidies for doctors' visits.

An estimated 680,000 New Zealanders who are GP patients, aged between 45 - 64 years, are expected to benefit from July 1.

DHBs and GPs have long been at loggerheads over the conditions, with the GPs refusing to sign a proposed agreement concerning the subsidy rollout, saying it was an attempt to control their fees.

The new agreement does not require GPs to acquire approval of future fee increases , instead , strengthens review mechanisms of fees. It directs GPs to be advised on refund of fees if patients are considered to have paid an extra amount, says Radio New Zealand's health correspondent.Family doctors are required to publicise their fees under the deal.

Health Minister, Pete Hodgson, says that the agreement will ensure that the subsidy is ' not misappropriated’ and adds that the indications are that the majority of PHOs will sign the agreement.

Peter Foley, GPs' spokesman, says he's pleased that commonsense has prevailed.


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