Trust takes on White Cross after-hours fees

Trust takes on White Cross after-hours fees

The Waipareira Trust says it has "had enough" of after-hours medical clinics charging patients high fees.

The trust has put up billboards around west Auckland urging the community to go to the local hospital instead.

But Waitakere Hospital is worried it will impact the care it provides.

"I've had enough of a third-party private agency gouging west Aucklanders," says John Tamihere from Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust.

It costs $92 for adults to see a doctor at White Cross after hours. For those with a community services card it's $33.

So this winter the Waipareira Trust is telling its community to go to Waitakere Hospital instead.

"For the next 12 weeks our DHB has to man-up to the after-hours clinic at the Waitakere Hospital and allow our people total access until it sorts White Cross out," Mr Tamihere says.

Midwifery student Erin Matthias refused to pay $92.

"Just not okay -- just far too high -- I've just decided to avoid it and wait for my problem until Monday," she says.

But at White Cross this Monday, given it's a public holiday, the price rises to $107.

In a statement White Cross chief executive Alistair Sullivan said: "There's no subsidy for adults with illnesses seen after hours who do not fall into the 'high needs' group."

Waitakere Hospital is worried it'll be flooded by "unnecessary visits that could impact on the care it provides to those who are seriously ill or injured".

White Cross says the true price of seeing a doctor at night and on weekends is well over $100 and it would welcome new funding to lower the cost.