INDEPENDENT NEWS

Porirua PHO More Government Favouritism

Published: Mon 16 Dec 2002 12:56 AM
Porirua PHO More Government Favouritism
The establishment of Labour's Primary Health Organisations is displaying a disturbing trend, where the Government looks after its favoured voter groups - who are receiving priority funding under the new PHO strategy, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.
"Concerns over the Porirua Plus PHO proposal - which is backed by the Ora Toa Maori Health Service, Porirua Union Health Services and Ngati Toa - show the continuing trend of the Labour's willingness to put the interests of its favoured groups over those of the wider community," Mrs Roy said.
"Porirua is a low income, high health needs area where people die up to 20 years earlier than other Wellington residents. Only one Porirua resident in five will be eligible to join the proposed PHO. Board officials understand Labour's excessive focus on select groupings, and ensure these groups gain even cheaper GP access at the cost of the majority.
"Fears expressed by the GP Council, that up to 45 percent of patients that Labour claims to be targeting for lower healthcare costs will miss out, are being realised," said Mrs Roy.
"The Government has provided $410 million of taxpayers' money to create PHOs around the country, yet much of that has been allocated on basis of race. Recent examples of Labour's clear favouritism include Counties-Manukau's Te Kupenga o Hoturoa and TaPasefika PHOs, as well as the Hutt-based PHO - whose patients are enrolled from the Hutt Union and Community Health Service, Kokiri Marae Trust and Whai Oranga o te Iwi. All of which consist of Maori, Pacific Island and Union-based providers.
"ACT New Zealand believes that health funding should be needs-based, not race or location based, and that Labour's PHOs are inherently unfair," Mrs Roy said.

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