Published in the SOUTH TARANAKI STAR 12th August 2004
with the title

Not the doctor's order

Geoffrey Darling,
The Editor
South Taranaki STAR

Dear Geoffrey,

Letter to Editor

Title "New Inequalities in Health"

or "Not what the doctor ordered"

In a massive advertising campaign involving TV, billboards and a personal letter from the Prime Minister, this government trumpets reduced medical and prescription costs, but only for those in a PHO.

So if you are not particularly well off but happy with your current GP who isnít in a PHO, some of your taxes now go to assist others in a PHO even if they are richer than you.

The reasons for these changes, according to Annette King are to support "continuity of care" and to "reduce inequalities"! In reality it is about gaining political control over GPs.

The political meaning of "continuity of care" is "change to a PHO GP or you wonít get an increased subsidy", while "reduction in inequalities" means "if you dare to want personalised primary health care, you will have to pay for it yourself as we intend to drag primary health care down to a cheap population based system".

The population based funding identifies street of residence and race as crude identifiers of health need, not an individualís actual need. On this basis men should get more funding as we have a lower life expectancy, as should smokers, bikies and left wing voters.

Dr Keith Blayney

Dr Keith T Blayney
PO Box 447, Hawera, 4800, NZ

[Word count (excluding heading & author details) = 199]