Labour announces $8 GP visits for community cardholders

Labour has announced an $8 cap on GP visits for Community Services cardholders - $10 lower than National's doctors' cap announced last week.

The policy will reach nearly 600,000 low-income New Zealanders.

Last week National announced $18 caps on doctors' visits for cardholders.

"I'm not satisfied with that," Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday. "That is not enough. We are talking still about $18 and for a lot of people that is still too much. That's still the difference between being well and not being well.

"Half-a-million New Zealanders didn't go to the doctor last year because they couldn't afford to."

Ms Ardern also announced for anyone aged between 13-17 it will cost only $2 to see a GP, while remaining free for anyone under that age.

"And for everyone else who might be paying $42, it will be $32," she added, "if their practice chooses to take up the extra funding offer."

"We know that this might mean more people go to the doctor and they should - that's what this police is all about. That means funding some more places for extra doctors."

An extra $30 million will be spent to "make sure over three years we have the doctors in our communities that we need to make sure all of us are well", Ms Ardern says.

But the National Party says it's just another example of a "me too" idea from Labour.

"They have literally copied National's announcement from last week targeting low income New Zealanders, and tacked on a $10 universal subsidy over the top," National's campaign chair Steven Joyce says.

"That's the level of thought they've put in.

"Labour would take $26 a week off New Zealand families by cancelling the Family Incomes package, and give them back $10 for a doctor's visit.

"If Labour committed to National's Family Incomes Package, families would put some of the money towards a doctor's visit one week, and something else they need the next week. Why can't they trust people to take more of their own decisions?"

Mr Joyce says Labour has acknowledged it hasn't put any work into the proposal by promising a review it if gets into government.

Newshub.

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