How general practice is funded in New Zealand

Laurence A Malcolm
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb06187.x
Published online: 19 July 2004

How general practice is funded in New Zealand depends upon an answer to the question “This week or next?”! General practice, and primary healthcare generally, is currently undergoing a revolution greater than anything since the early 1940s, when government funding of general practitioners was introduced. GPs then successfully argued for the “sacred” right to charge a fee commensurate with their services, making them unique compared with similar countries, including Australia. Substantial patient copayments resulted, rising at times to more than 80% of practice income.

  • Laurence A Malcolm

  • Aotearoa Health, New Zealand.



I am grateful for comments on an earlier draft of this article from the Chairman of the NZMA, the CEO of the RNZCGP, staff of the Ministry of Health and two reviewers.


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