Primary health care

Budget 2018 – Lower cost general practice visits.

From 1 December 2018, several changes took place to provide people with greater access to primary care.

Detailed information about the changes for general practice, PHOs and DHBs can be found in the update bulletins, including frequently asked questions that are regularly updated:

The changes are part of Budget 2018 and include extending:

  • access to low-cost general practice visits to all CSC holders. This includes injury-related visits (ACC)
  • CSC eligibility to all people receiving the accommodation supplement or who are tenants in public housing
  • zero-fee general practice visits and exemption from the standard prescription co-payment charge (usually $5 per item) on subsidised prescription items for children aged 13 and under. This includes after-hours services and injury-related visits (ACC).

These changes have been negotiated with the PHO Services Agreement Amendment Protocol (PSAAP) Group. This is the national group that negotiates the national agreement (PHO Services Agreement) for funding and delivery of primary health care services. The Group is made up of PHOs, contracted providers, DHBs and the Ministry of Health. Further details are available on the TAS website.

The Lower cost general practice visits page has information sheets and posters available to download.

The Ministry of Health is scoping the introduction of an annual health check (including eye check) for SuperGold Card holders (approximately 723,000 New Zealanders). The start date for this is still to be confirmed.

The Ministry is also preparing the Crown’s response for the Waitangi Tribunal’s Kaupapa Inquiry into Health Services and Outcomes (stage one is primary care).

Strategic Alignment

This programme supports the Ministry’s strategic priority to improve access to, and the efficiency of, health services for New Zealanders, with a focus on primary care. It aligns to the ‘Closer to Home’ strategic theme.

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