Lower-cost GP visits and zero fees extension
From 1 December, visits to the doctor for injury and health-related issues will be cheaper for Community Service Card (CSC) holders. The zero fee visits scheme is also extended to children under 14-years. Last year an estimated half a million people missed visiting their GP due to cost.
These changes are part of a package of Government initiatives designed to improve access to primary care. Many GPs will offer this from today, with more joining the scheme in March and April next year.
All practices will receive extra contributions from ACC to encourage them to provide low-cost visits for injured CSC holders and extend the zero fee visits scheme to children under-14 years. ACC expects most practices will reduce their fees for CSC holders to $18.50, with their dependants charged $12.50.
It's estimated an additional 47,000 injured people will visit their GP as a result of the CSC initiative annually, and an extra 1500 injured children will access their doctor or nurse because of the zero-fees extension. Many thousands more New Zealanders will have improved access to primary care for health-related issues.
The increased contributions are for primary care providers who work under our Cost of Treatment Regulations. Changes will also apply to contract providers - Rural General Practice and Urgent Care Clinics.
All Cost of Treatment Regulation (CoTR) providers will also receive a 1.56% inflation increase.
The Ministry of Health has more information about the lower cost Community Service Card and zero-fees schemes.
More information on Community Service Card eligibility is available from the Ministry of Social Development.
Phone 0800 559 009.