We welcome the government and DHB’s plans to make General Practice appointments more affordable.

From 1 Dec 2018 standard consultations for children under age 14 years are fully subsidised. There may still be a cost for anything beyond a standard consultation, such as consumables and referral letters.

We anticipate adopting a reduced fee of $18.50 for a standard consultation for those who present a valid Community Service Card. This will apply once our computer practice management system is fully able to support the requirements. We expect this will be available to us early in the New Year.

In the meantime, if you are eligible for a Community Service Card, you should ensure you have a current and valid card. The fee reduction is only available for patients with a current card.

We expect that reduced fees will result in people attending the practice more frequently, when we are already running close to full capacity. We are also faced with increased bureaucracy and paperwork that happens outside the consultation – the “invisible” work that we do, often after hours and over weekends.

Our goal is to continue to provide high quality care. However, we may need to make changes to manage increased demand and you might need to accept changes to the services we have previously provided.

We anticipate:

  • a longer wait for routine appointments – please plan for this when requesting a review and renewal of your prescriptions.
  • increased demand for ‘on the day’ appointments. We will need to screen these more carefully according to need. For some medical problems you may be directed to a nurse appointment, or other health service provider.
  • we will need your help to be realistic in what we can manage in one appointment time. If you know your problem is complex, or you have several issues to cover, please anticipate this by making a double appointment time, or expect we may need to schedule a second consultation.