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Source: Prescription Access Initiative

Community pharmacists from the Prescription Access Initiative are delighted the 2023 Budget removes the patient co-payment prescription fee for everybody.
“We are crying – we are so delighted, pleased and relieved for our communities – everyone will have better access to healthcare,” said PAI spokesperson Vicky Chan.
“The positive impacts will be huge – it’s difficult to take in. We wholeheartedly congratulate and thank the Government for this fantastic move.”
Currently, the $5-per-item fee leads to unnecessary hospitalisations, and people being in pain and sicker for longer, as recent research and pharmacist surveys have shown. “This will save people pain, illness, heartbreak and distress,” said Chan.
She said benefits of the fee removal will include better community health and wellbeing, fewer work absences and an easing of the burden on the hospital system, as well as helping everyone with the current cost of living crisis.
“The atmosphere in our pharmacies will lift, I cannot describe the lightness and how pleased we are to be able to help everyone without anyone having to worry about cost,” said Chan.
“We will be able to give health advice and deliver medicines without the fee getting in the way and stressing people out and shifting the focus of our conversations.
“This is a very very good day, and a great move for all New Zealanders.”