Cheaper doc­tors’ vis­its for el­derly and low-in­come

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice -

Doctor vis­its for Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Card hold­ers in Katikati got cheaper from Satur­day, De­cem­ber 1.

Most gen­eral prac­tices across the re­gion that come un­der the um­brella of the West­ern Bay of Plenty Pri­mary Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, in­clud­ing Katikati Med­i­cal Cen­tre, will be charg­ing lower fees for en­rolled pa­tients with a Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Card, and their de­pen­dants.

“For a large pro­por­tion of our en­rolled pop­u­la­tion, par­tic­u­larly low-in­come fam­i­lies and our el­derly, these changes will help re­duce cost as a bar­rier to ac­cess their pri­mary health­care provider when they need it most,” says WBOP PHO chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil Back.

The new ini­tia­tive comes at the same time el­i­gi­bil­ity for card hold­ers is be­ing ex­tended to in­clude not just those on low in­comes, but also peo­ple who live in pub­lic hous­ing and re­ceive the ac­com­mo­da­tion sup­ple­ment.

Adult card­hold­ers en­rolled with a gen­eral prac­tice will pay just $18.50 for a stan­dard day time nurse or GP con­sul­ta­tion and $12.50 for youth aged

14-17 years. The lower fees don’t ap­ply to af­ter hours or week­end ser­vices.

Zero fees for chil­dren aged 12 and un­der is also be­ing ex­tended to in­clude

13-year-olds as of De­cem­ber 1. Chil­dren en­rolled with a gen­eral prac­tice aged 13 and un­der won’t be charged a fee for a stan­dard visit to a doctor or nurse, the reg­u­lar $5 pre­scrip­tion fee, or an af­ter-hours fee at par­tic­i­pat­ing clin­ics or phar­ma­cies.

Phil urges peo­ple to check their el­i­gi­bil­ity for a Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Card and ensure they are en­rolled with a lo­cal GP.

To find out which lo­cal med­i­cal cen­tres are ac­cept­ing new pa­tients visit: www.wbop­­i­cal-cen­tres To find out if you’re el­i­gi­ble for a Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Card visit www.workand­in­

WBOP PHO chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil Back.

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