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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
Auckland DHB 79 122 65%
Bay of Plenty DHB 43 48 90%
Canterbury DHB 55 135 41%
Capital & Coast DHB 25 63 40%
Counties-Manukau DHB 100 111 90%
Hawkes Bay DHB 24 34 71%
Hutt Valley DHB 14 26 54%
Lakes DHB 11 21 52%
MidCentral DHB 26 41 63%
Nelson-Marlborough DHB 27 37 73%
Northland DHB 48 48 100%
Otago DHB 43 58 74%
South Canterbury DHB 25 28 89%
Southland DHB 14 36 39%
Tairawhiti DHB 14 14 100%
Taranaki DHB 37 37 100%
Waikato DHB 75 82 91%
Wairarapa DHB 7 7 100%
Waitemata DHB 42 99 42%
West Coast DHB 8 8 100%
Whanganui DHB 32 32 100%
Grand Total 749 1,087 69%

Note: These include practices that are participating in either the Under Sixes or Very Low Cost Initiative.


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