The big squeeze

In print

The big squeeze

There’s a general expectation from customers everywhere that copayments will be waived There’s something a bit wrong with the health system. No,


I have immense sympathy for Pharmacists, and I think the way they are being squeezed, exactly as  you describe, is  unconscionable. In General Practice we know the value of the local pharmacy to the health care team, and I think we  should support their stand on the issue of the $5 co payment. There is a gross distortion going on in the marketplace, and the rest of the health system will only understand their true value when they have gone.   

Gone, just like the GPs...

Just for context: in 2018 the funding for Primary Care (General Practice) was $196 million. The funding for community dispensing fees was $239 million (so 22% more than the total funding for all of the Practice visits). The funding for the first year of Fees Free (first year university fees) was $342 million (rising to $628 million in 2021/2022). New Zealand should know where Government's priorities lie. Community Pharmacies are undoubtedly being squeezed - and yet they have more influence over their contract negotiations than the actual service providers in General Practice. In other words they have a voice - we don't. Thanks for that PHO's and PSAAP.

PHO's don't represent General Practice and in my opinion often have a very poor understanding of the coal face. PSAAP has been a complete disaster for General Practice. It's hard to see how GP can continue under the current structure we suffer.