Most GPs To Give Free Health Care To Kids Under 6
Seven out of 10 practices to provide free health care to children under 6
Seven out of 10 practices have committed to provide free health care to children under six from 1 January 2008.
Nearly 235,000 children under six will benefit. They include 85 per cent of children under six from high-needs groups -- Maori, Pacific or living in the poorest areas.
"We want to ensure that our young children get the best start in life," Health Minister David Cunliffe said.
"Children are our future. Foundations of good health are best laid early in life," he added.
Four hundred and fifty-three practices have decided to participate in the Under-Sixes Initiative. Another 296 practices are already participating in the Very Low Cost Access scheme. In all, 749 practices commit to provide free care to children under six from 1 January 2008. They participate voluntarily in the scheme on a quarterly basis.
Participation varies around New Zealand (refer to attached table). In six district health boards -- Northland, Tairawhiti, Taranaki, Wairarapa, West Coast and Whanganui -- all practices commit to provide free services to children under six.
The Under Sixes initiative applies to standard consultations during normal hours only. Practices participating in the initiative can still charge for after-hours consultations.
Practices committing to provide free standard consultations to children under six
|DHB Name||Participating practices||Total Practices||% of all practices|
|Bay of Plenty DHB||43||48||90%|
|Capital & Coast DHB||25||63||40%|
|Hawkes Bay DHB||24||34||71%|
|Hutt Valley DHB||14||26||54%|
|South Canterbury DHB||25||28||89%|
|West Coast DHB||8||8||100%|
Note: These include practices that are participating in either the Under Sixes or Very Low Cost Initiative.