GPs find themselves ‘health adjacent’ in today’s Budget announcements

21 April 2021

Category: Media releases


“Not surprised” but with “glimmers of hope” is how the President of The Royal ΢ҕl has described her reaction to today’s Budget 2021. 

There is no direct funding for general practice and primary health care, despite the majority of health happening in the community and the country’s general practitioners stepping up to defend New Zealand against COVID-19 on top of their regular health work.

“Of course, I am disappointed that the ongoing issues with general practice and the health system, which we have well-documented and been vocal about, have not been addressed,” says Dr Samantha Murton, President of the College, “but I am not surprised.”

Dr Samantha Murton

“As GPs our core interest is in the health of their patients and I can see the health benefits for our communities in today’s spending announcements.

“An additional $200 million for PHARMAC to widen access to existing medicines and invest in new medicines will have benefits to our patients, as will an investment in more cochlear implants available to adults,” she says.

The ΢ҕlis incredibly positive about an increase in spending for healthy homes because housing has such a crucial impact on people’s lives and has a significant impact on health. 

“We are expecting to see something quite transformational from this housing spend,” says Dr Murton. 

An increase in benefit payments will also help deliver improvements in the nationwide health outcomes of New Zealand. 

The spending on health in the next financial year is $24 billion yet none of that is directed towards primary health care.

“While we’re pleased about the health benefits for the greater good it’s hard to get too excited knowing we are still working in a health system that’s broken, says Dr Murton.

“I look forward to a more ambitious Budget in 2022 and that really needs to address the clear, serious issues in the general practice sector before it’s too late,” she says.