National Party Leader Christopher Luxon announces cash incentives to GPs to raise immunisation rates, alongside restored health targets
Christopher Luxon leader of the National Party recently announced when his Party becomes government he plans to go hard on early vaccination and announced that there would be cash incentives for General Practitioners to raise immunisation rates, alongside restored health targets.
Mr Luxon said that “National would be unveiling five health targets for the health system, restoring some of its goals from its past time in government, which Labour removed. The targets include A&E time limits, cancer treatment, improved immunisation for two-year-olds, teens and superannuants, specialist waiting times and limits on surgery backlogs.
The targets include A&E time limits, cancer treatment, improved immunisation for two-year-olds, teens and superannuitants, specialist waiting times and limits on surgery backlogs. The one-off payments programme for immunisation would see GPs paid $10 per enrolled patient on their books if they lift rates for childhood immunisations, MMR in under 18s and flu vaccinations for those aged 65 and above by five percentage points among the eligible by the end of June 2024. National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti said that could mean, for example, $45,000 for a clinic with several GPs and 4,500 enrolled patients, if it met the three improvement measures. “National is particularly concerned by falling childhood immunisation rates and money spent now to lift them will prevent misery, illness and deaths.”
The party estimates the potential overall cost of the boost at $52m if all GP clinics meet the goal. Dr Reti said there was no doubt vaccine hesitancy had increased post-Covid. That was why National’s target copied the incumbent government’s measure of the “eligible population” or those willing to be vaccinated. It excluded those who declined or opted off the national register. When asked by the media where National would find enough funds to satisfy its new five performance targets, and how much more it could add to the health budget, Mr Luxon answered broadly: “Look, we will continue to invest in healthcare. Much more important is that we also deliver outcomes, because this current Labour government has spent tens of billions of dollars more on health care. It’s also hired thousands more public servants and actually delivered worse outcomes. “And as I’ve said before, we will be focused and obsessed on outcomes.
But could National afford the extra funding needed to meet its new goals? “Well, we have to.” The party believes there is too much spent on the bureaucracy and back-office functions of health and not enough on the frontline. However, it was pointed out to Mr Luxon that the Labour government’s big merger of district health boards into one entity, Te Whatu Ora, had supposedly found much of that efficiency in system overlap and support functions. “Well, I think there’s a huge amount of bureaucracy sitting there still and I think there’s a huge opportunity for us to make sure we get our investments in the front line.”
The five targets are:
• having 95 percent of patients admitted, discharged or transferred from an emergency department within six hours
• 85 percent of cancer patients receiving “cancer management” within 31 days of the decision to treat
• 95 percent of two-year-olds receiving their full age-appropriate immunisations, lifts to rates of MMR for under-18s and flu jabs for those over 65
• “a meaningful reduction” in the numbers waiting more than four months to see a specialist
• “a meaningful reduction” in the numbers waiting more than four months for surgery
Dr. Reti said National had not set a surgery target because the last available statistics were released in March 2023, with an update due two weeks after the election, so it would wait until it had the correct information and set the goal while in government. Labour’s Health spokesperson Ayesha Verrall said many of National’s targets - and a similar scheme to the immunisation payment - were already in place. “National has cut and pasted a number of health targets Labour’s already set and slapped their logo on it,” she said. “We’re already well on the way to achieving no one waiting more than a year for non-urgent surgery. We’ve already increased the payment to front-line health providers to help increase immunisation rates. National either aren’t aware or we’re hoping we didn’t notice them flogging our policy. “We know the last time National put in place a limited number of targets it just shifted resources from one part of the system to another. Like their tax plan that is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Getting Health Care into perspective — The failures of modern health care
It would appear that Mr Luxon chooses not to be aware that inappropriate and dangerous medical treatments and adverse pharmaceutical drug reactions are now the number one cause of death.
The pharmaceutical industry is not in the business of health and healing, they are in the business of disease maintenance and symptoms management. Our current healthcare dilemma is clearly driven by corporate greed and conflicts of interest which makes the system itself the biggest health risk to New Zealand consumers. The only accurate statement made by Mr Luxon that we can all agree on, is there is too much spent on the bureaucracy and back-office functions of health and not enough on the frontline.
It is no surprise, and an inevitable outcome from the 1980’s when our health care was taken over by “health care” corporations and the pharmaceutical industry. That’s when the bottom line in health care became profit driven instead of sending the patient home well and drug free, if possible.
In addition to the death toll, thousands of New Zealanders are maimed and disabled, not by their diseases, but by the ‘healthcare system’ that they contribute financially for, which includes bad doctoring and serious or permanent damage from pharmaceutical drugs that were licensed by Medsafe. Yet there are no outraged politicians giving undertakings on parliament steps to find the culprits, to stop the criminality of it. This appears astonishing since hundreds of New Zealanders are unnecessarily killed and maimed each day by inappropriate medical treatment or an adverse reaction from a pharmaceutical drug that was licensed and approved by Medsafe. No memorials are erected to these victims.
Medsafe is the ‘regulator’ of drugs and medical devices and with the introduction of the Therapeutic Products Act, soon to be regulating natural health products, which have traditionally been produced by a separate and unique industry and are not part of the pharmaceutical industry because nutrients are not drugs, they are essential to all humans. Most health-conscious people now take natural health products such as vitamins, minerals and herbals because it is known that food produced by modern agricultural farming methods is deficient in essential nutrients. Medsafe’s motto is: “to ensure the safety of all New Zealanders.” The new agency under the Therapeutic Products Act will be facilitated by Medsafe bureaucrats who will regulate nutrients as drugs requiring evidence and clinical trials. The whole advantage in regarding nutrients as drugs is that the pharmaceutical drug industry then stands to have exclusive control of all-natural health product manufacturing, sales and distribution. The New Zealand natural health products industry has been traditionally locally owned by private or family companies and evolved around its own proven quality and safety standards. Traditionally, using naturally sourced raw ingredients, the natural health industry has an enviable product safety record. In addition, an entire branch of natural health products has developed over the centuries with a long tradition of safety and a large body of scientific evidence in support of its efficacy. A little-known fact is that literally thousands of peer-reviewed studies exist to support the success of natural and nutritional approaches to health. The pharmaceutical industry as we know it, on the other hand only started in earnest about seventy-five or so years ago.
Many drugs have been so heavily synthesised that their side-effects will not be known for some years to come. Pharmaceutical companies rely on patented artificial chemical drugs to generate majority of their profits. Aggressive drug company marketing and image management has created the impression that drugs are essential to health, when in fact deaths from adverse drug reactions make up the fourth highest cause of death. With millions of consumers opting for natural health care options, the trans-national pharmaceutical corporations have influenced the regulators to regulate natural health products as drugs when in fact nutrients are not drugs but essential to all humans on a daily basis. The difference between drugs and nutrients is that they are fundamentally opposites. There are many conditions caused when sufficient nutrients are not supplied to the body each day, but there is no such thing as a drug deficiency.
It isn’t hard to see that the trans-national pharmaceutical corporations have already assumed the role of government, at least where health care is concerned.
New Zealanders do not want to be governed by trans-national corporations and these issues need to be debated, understood and corrected by the electors, the only legitimate proprietors of government.
Mr Luxon said that “National would be unveiling five health targets for the health system, restoring some of its goals from its past time in government, which Labour removed.
“Look, we will continue to invest in healthcare. Much more important is that we also deliver outcomes, because this current Labour government has spent tens of billions of dollars more on health care.
“We know the last time National put in place a limited number of targets it just shifted resources from one part of the system to another. Like their tax plan that is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“National is particularly concerned by falling childhood immunisation rates and money spent now to lift them will prevent misery, illness and deaths.”