Rural practices without GPs

In response to this article:

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said GPs received more income if they were busier. "The issue for some rural practices is they can't attract staff. It is a staffing issue, not a visitor issue. "Most visitors to New Zealand have travel insurance and are charged for any medical services they receive." But the article was specifically about emergency services and the PRIME contract prohibits GPs from charging for emergency services, whether for New Zealanders or overseas tourists. Once you've received the maximum PRIME funding of ~ $21 000 per annum for over 40 call outs, you can attend 50, 60 or 100 call outs and not receive an extra cent. The funding works out at ~$2.34/hr for providing 24/7 cover so I think it is quite reasonable for the Rural GP Network to request greater financial support from the Government. You'd struggle to get most people to work for that wage, yet alone healthcare professionals responding urgently any time of day or night.

 - Stephen Hoskin

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