GP consultations range from free to more than $70

West Aucklanders pay anything from $15 to more than $70 to visit a GP, an unscientific Neighbourly poll has found.
123rf

West Aucklanders pay anything from $15 to more than $70 to visit a GP, an unscientific Neighbourly poll has found.

West Aucklanders pay anything from $15 to more than $70 to visit a GP, but some people pay nothing at all.

A poll on the Western Leader Neighbourly page showed more than 56 per cent of the 300 respondents paid under $35 to see a GP, but many had shopped around.

The Neighbourly poll showed more than 30 per cent of those surveyed paid between $35 and $54 to see a doctor. About nine per cent pay even more, with the highest fees above $70.

The poll showed many people shopped around for affordable GPs.
TORIKA TOKALAU-CHANDRA/STUFF

The poll showed many people shopped around for affordable GPs.

Nicole Sikulu from Ranui said she now paid $18 per visit. This was half of what she previously paid at her old doctor's office.

Jess Leigh, also from Ranui, paid under $20 for each doctor's visit after transferring to Swanson Medical.

She said she had become "frustrated" with the service and system at a medical centre in Ranui but Swanson was "excellent".

The Waitakere Union Health Centre offers one of the cheapest services out west with some people paying nothing at all ...
TORIKA TOKALAU-CHANDRA/STUFF

The Waitakere Union Health Centre offers one of the cheapest services out west with some people paying nothing at all for a doctors consultation.

Swanson Medical's website said it was "all about making healthcare affordable to our community". It said the practice accepted capped fees in exchange for offering lower consultation charges.

Kelston's Abhi Singh paid $17 at The Fono West but said she struggled to get same day appointments.

"I wonder why so many patients are enrolled when they are unable to cater for all," Singh said.

Westgate Medical Centre charges $42 for funded patients aged 18-64.
DANIELLE CLENT/STUFF

Westgate Medical Centre charges $42 for funded patients aged 18-64.

"What is the use of seeing a doctor the next day when you are sick today?"

Ad Feedback

Waitakere Union Health Centre, a walk-in clinic and one of the cheapest out west, was free for union members. The clinic's head receptionist Naomi Fleming said this was anybody who belonged to any workers' union. Non union members paid $15.

However, people would have to wait at least an hour to see any of its six doctors. 

The clinic, located on the grounds of Waitakere Hospital on Lincoln Rd, had more than 6000 enrolled members. 

Fleming said the clinic didn't make any profit, and relied on government funding from enrolled members. 

"We utilise our funding to give back to the community and pride ourselves in providing quality, low cost healthcare to as many in the community as possible - and free to as many as we can. 

"We are not here to make money, we are here to serve the community." 

The Ministry of Health website said medical centres were privately owned and set their own fees.

"Some general practices join a 'low cost access' programme run by their primary health organisation. This means they get extra government funding to keep their fees at low levels," it said.

The fee of $40 and being unable to get a same day appointment at Palomino Medical Centre was making Henderson's Mandy Lavery consider looking elsewhere.

Te Atatu South's Nik Max paid $42.50 at Henderson Medical Centre and said the price had gone up since he last saw the doctor.

The medical centre's website said fees for enrolled patients over 18 was $43.

Massey resident Kim Williams said she was currently trying to move from Westgate Medical Centre.

She said her fees were over $40 but "cheaper" places she had looked at weren't taking new patients or only allowed walk-ins.

Westgate Medical Centre's website said it charged $42 for funded patients aged 18-64.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback