HSRAANZ Webinar Series: Cost of and cost barriers to primary health care in Aotearoa New Zealand: focus on equity

Presenter - Mona Jeffreys, Senior Research Fellow in epidemiology at the Health Services Research Centre, Victoria University, Wellington

Thursday 29 October at 11.am AEST, 1.00pm NZST

There is no cost to attend the Webinar but registration is essential. Please register at:


The Webinar will be about 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for Q and A.  


Background: Primary Health Care in Aotearoa New Zealand is mainly funded through capitation-based funding to general practices, supplemented by a user co-payment. Funding is designed in part to keep the costs of care low for key groups in the population who have higher health needs. We investigated changes in the socio-demographic determinants of no-cost and low-cost access to Primary Health Care using data from sequential waves of the New Zealand Health Survey (1996/97–2016/17). Fees paid were self-reported and inflated using CPI-adjustment to the value of the 2018NZD. Over the 20-year study period, there was an increase in the population accessing low-cost care. Access to low-cost care was particularly high for Pacific people, but also higher for Māori and Asian people compared to Other/New Zealand European ethnicities. Area-level deprivation was a stronger predictor of access to low-cost care for non-Māori than for Māori. Although Māori were more likely than non-Māori to access low-cost care at all levels of deprivation, this was less evident in more deprived compared to more affluent areas. Given ongoing reported inequity for Māori being less able to afford primary health care, we suggest that future policies to improve access should be fully aligned with the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and should focus on equity

Biography: Mona is a senior research fellow in epidemiology at the Health Services Research Centre. She trained at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MSc) and Bristol University (PhD). She then worked at the Centre for Public Health Research at Massey University (Wellington) as Senior Lecturer in Public Health. After another period at Bristol University as Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, she returned to Wellington, and is employed at the HSRC, working on projects on access to primary health care. Her primary research interest centres around health equity and longitudinal data analysis.