Reducing GP fees won't necessarily help those who need it, doctor says

Overworked general practitioners need to see people who need their help, with increased subsidies not necessarily leading to that outcome, according to a leading GP.

The current model was "inefficient" in its use of resource, Dr John Cameron told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"We have people who cannot afford to go and see a doctor at the moment, that's being shown in many studies and it's looking at our ED (emergency department) units which are free of charge to turn up, people are turning up there with primary care problems," he said.

"That's an inefficient use of resource and healthcare should be provided in the community."

"How do we target government subsidised funding to those who either need it because of health need or need it because of a financial need?"

Dr Cameron said GPs wanted to be able to provide healthcare targeted to the individual needs of people.

"We want to see the people that we need to see," Dr Cameron said.

"What we want to be to do is anticipate what your health need will be, put more money into that to reduce the barriers and then shift you on from there so we actually try to prevent the ill-health in the first place."

Dr Cameron said the two basic funding models in place currently weren't tailored to the individual.

"One (funding model) is called access funding which provides for the vast majority of our population."

"We have another one called VLCA, which is very low cost access, and that is if your practice has more than per cent Maori, Pacific or quintiles 5, you get a huge bucket of money thrown in but it's extrapolated across your whole population (including non-Maori, Pacific or quintiles 5)," he said.

"So the funding is population based, not individual based."

Overworked GPs need to see people who most need their help, with increased subsidies not necessarily leading to that outcome, Dr Cameron says. Source: Breakfast



Damage from January storm that hit Coromandel, BOP cost insurers more than $34m

Figures released this morning from the Insurance Council show the storm that hit parts of the North Island in early-January has cost private insurers nearly $34.2 million.

More than 4,200 claims were made following the storm.

Insurance Council New Zealand Chief Executive, Tim Grafton says, "The storm of early January caused heavy flooding and substantial damage to the Coromandel and Bay of Plenty regions." 

Mr Grafton says the towns of Kaiaua and Thames suffered greatly. 

Over 3000 of the claims made were domestic, costing $19,120,299.

Another 685 were commercial claims costing $11,714,690.

"The cost of this storm demonstrates the importance of adapting to climate change and putting processes and infrastructure improvements in place that minimise the costs and impacts of these events," Mr Grafton says. 

"As time goes on, we expect these sorts of events to become both more frequent and more severe. Every dollar spent on adaptation now will be more than repaid in future savings."

Fair Go sheds light on a weather trap that could have insurance ramifications for thousands of New Zealanders.
Source: Fair Go

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Fush the Christchurch seafood eatery set to start free Te Reo Maori classes

A Christchurch eatery is set to start free Te Reo Maori classes open up to anyone who wants to learn. 

Fush, the family owned seafood eatery in Wigram has encouraged the use of Te Reo Maori by offering bilingual English-Maori menus and using te reo phrases with their customers.

"It's one of Aotearoa's three official languages and the preservation and normalisation of it is very dear to my heart," Fush owner-operator Anton Matthews says. 

"I want to give our community a chance to learn the basics for free."

The classes are beginning next week Monday the 21st of May at 8pm for an hour and are set to run over the next four weeks.

Thousands of people have already expressed their interest in attending on the Facebook event page. 

Fushs goal is to help build confidence to enable people to speak and incorporate a little bit of Maori in their everyday conversation. 

If the first four classes go well, Fush say they will run more free classes.

Image of Fush menu in te reo Maori
Source: Te Karere