NZ colleagues offer warning over Medicare Locals impact

NEW Zealand’s most influential GP has delivered a stark warning to the Australian Government as it prepares to unleash the first Medicare Locals: Don’t make the same mistake the NZ Government did.

Dr Peter Foley, chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, said Australia must learn from the hugely unpopular introduction of Crown Health Enterprises – similar to Australia’s Medicare Locals (MLs) – which he said had failed to ensure adequate GP leadership.

“If the [Australian] Government truly regards general practice as central to the delivery of primary healthcare… then this position must not be undermined by any top-down direction of how that might be delivered,” Dr Foley told MO.

Dr Foley’s warning came after the AMA recently wrote to all Australian federal parliamentarians arguing the ML model “does not give adequate recognition to the fundamental role of GPs”, and warned