Election 2023: ACT proposes direct $163m boost for GPs

"Labour has wasted billions building a massive Wellington bureaucracy."
"Labour has wasted billions building a massive Wellington bureaucracy." Photo credit: Getty Images.

The ACT Party is proposing to pump $163 million into GPs next year, a 13 percent increase in funding to help them meet expenses.

The party quotes a General Practice workforce survey from last year which found 79 percent of GPs report being burnt out to some degree, and half of the workforce intends to retire in the next 10 years.

In a statement, party deputy leader and Health Spokesperson Brooke van Velden said the funding would go directly to GP practices, and would be followed by ongoing increases in outyears.

"In tough times, it's about being smart with money - getting it where it's needed. Putting more funding towards primary healthcare for New Zealanders is an essential part of a modern and functioning society. We can't let access to healthcare become a luxury in New Zealand," she said.

She highlighted a government-commissioned report by Sapere which calculated that GPs' net deficit was $137 a year.

"Labour has wasted billions building a massive Wellington bureaucracy that doesn't provide any extra care to New Zealanders in need," van Velden said.

"ACT supports frontline health workers who are making a difference in Kiwis' lives. That is where a stable government would invest, not creating expensive new bureaucracies."

The party is launching the policy ahead of its alternative Budget due out on Monday, titled "A Time for Truth".