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Ngatai pleased with Health Budget increase

The Whanau Ora Community Clinic Director George Ngatai has said his Service is pleased with the health spend in Labour’s first budget especially for high needs communities.

Mr Ngatai said that on the frontline his staff see first hand the struggles that Whanau have to just live, let alone how they would cope with the many pressures that are placed upon them on a daily basis.

His service already provides low cost services where 18-65 year olds pay $10 to visit the doctors. Mr Ngatai said his service had to reduce costs to ensure all people had access to affordable health. The Whanau Ora Community Clinic has many practices across NZ from Auckland all the way down to Christchurch and with this increase in Health spend they can deliver more services to more people.

Today’s budget provided a $3.2 billion injection over four years, including $2.2b more for DHBs and $126m for elective surgeries and other areas. $750m for hospital upgrades and rebuilds. • Cheaper doctor visits for more than 500,000 people. Free GP visits extended to 13-year-olds (56,000 more children). About 540,000 people eligible for Community Services cards will get $20 to $30 cheaper GP visits. Cost $385m. • Midwives: $112m more for community midwives, including 8.9 per cent fee increase to level them with DHB midwives.!

Now the challenge for DHBs is to see how they make changes to the way they Service Māori and Pacific and try different ways of working with Whanau. This will then help deal with the health inequalities.

End

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