Primary healthcare news, information & resources

Government funding update - Extending access to primary care

Several changes will take place from 1 December 2018 to provide people with greater access to primary care services. 

The changes are part of Budget 2018 and include extending:

  • access to low-cost general practice visits to all CSC holders, including injury-related visits (ACC)
  • community services card (CSC) eligibility to all people receiving the accommodation supplement or who are tenants in social housing
  • zero-fee general practice visits and exemption from the standard prescription co-payment charge (usually $5 per item) on subsidised prescription items for children under the age of 14. This includes after-hours services and injury-related visits (ACC).

These initiatives are included within the PHO Services Agreement. The changes provide additional subsidies to enable practices to charge patients no more than $18.50 for enrolled adults and $12.50 for enrolled youth aged 14-17 for a standard day time nurse or GP consultation.

Countdown to funding changes

There are a number of practical steps that need to be taken to enable the implementation of the Government's primary care initiatives for 1 December. Here's our checklist to help you prepare.

MOH posters and information sheets for the public

MOH funding change bulletins

Non-VLCA practices

Non-Very Low Cost Access (VLCA) practices had the option to:

  • opting in to the CSC initiative. The CSC initiative applies to a standard daytime consultation with a GP or nurse at the usual practice where the patient is enrolled. After-hours and casual consultations are excluded from this policy.  
  • opting out of zero fees for under-14s. Practices that are currently providing zero fees for under-13s will be automatically included in the under-14s programme. If a practice wishes to opt out of under-14s, they will also be opting out of the zero fees programme covering the 0-13 age group.

VLCA practices

VLCA practices will be paid capitation for enrolled CSC holders at the same rates as non-VLCA practices. This will be accompanied by other changes to capitation for VLCA practices that are all included in the practice financial modelling. These changes will take place automatically, no action is required.

For more information

It's very likely you will have questions, please contact your practice support person in the first instance. We'll be working closely with the MOH implementation team and feeding back all your questions. 

Regular updates will be provided via our weekly newsletter and website. We'll also make all MOH bulletins available as they are released (see above).

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