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The number of adults who aren’t seeing their doctor because of the price has increased by 38,000, making a mockery of the Health Minister’s promise to improve access to affordable healthcare, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

The 2017/18 New Zealand Health Survey estimates 585,000 people over the age of 15 could not afford to visit their GP, up from 547,000 in the 2016/17 survey – the highest this figure has been since the survey began.

“The fact that 38,000 more people haven’t been able to afford GP visits on David Clark’s watch shows the reality of the financial barriers to healthcare are a long way from his lofty rhetoric,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“In Opposition, David Clark said making sure everyone had access to affordable, quality healthcare was on his to-do list. But despite the Government’s commitment to reduce fees for all adults, last year’s Budget was a shadow of that promise.

“The result of overpromising and under-delivering is now plain to see.

“The Minister is clearly out of his depth and this is another example that a little money and a lot of hope does not improve the health of New Zealanders.”

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