Headline vs Reality

The NZ Herald has a story with this headline and opening paragraph:

Lack of Govt cash kills family-

One of the groups planning an overhaul of primary healthcare services has given up on creating “integrated family heath centres” because the Government is offering no money to help set them up.

So both the headline and the opening paragraph entirely blame the lack of money from the Government.

But for those who actually wade through the story, you find this nugget:

This bid, by the Greater Auckland Integrated Health Network, initially proposed creating up to 12 integrated family health centres. But in its formal business case to the ministry, the network has now quit that concept in favour of a simpler structure involving three “community health hubs”, after GPs rejected the earlier model.

So it was GPs who rejected the earlier model. Are they blaming it on Government cash:

The network’s spokeswoman, Professor Cindy Farquhar, said, when asked if GPs were concerned by the absence of Government funding for integrated family health centres, “Yes, that was a bit of a challenge. In this proposal there is no new money.”

So the actually put forward the proposition that it is all about lack of money, and the GP spokesperson merely said “Yes, that was a bit of a challenge”.

General practices are mainly private businesses and the Government has no power to force them to create new types of clinics. It has put up $6 million this financial year, but only to manage the change, not to finance new or altered facilities.

So there is funding for transition costs.

Professor Farquhar said the Auckland network rejected integrated family health centres because they would duplicate existing services.

And finally we get the real reason they GPs voted to go with a modified approach.

Now I am not saying that money is not a factor at all, but the headline and opening paragraph (which is all many people read) give a quite false impression of what led to the decision.

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