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GMS Subsidy Adjusted For Children Under Six

Health Minister Annette King says the Government’s first priority in primary health care funding is to target low-income, high health needs New Zealanders, but it also wants to ensure primary health care access is easier for children.

“The first step toward achieving this priority will be increasing the General Medical Services subsidy for GP services to children under six to adjust for inflation since the subsidy was introduced in July 1997.

“This increase will apply to all GPs from 1 July 2002, and is expected to cost up to $8 million.

“The Government believes this will help to maintain free or very low cost access for young children, and it signals our commitment to extending free or low cost primary health care to include all children.”

Ms King said other Government priorities for primary health care included:

- The sustainability of primary health care in rural areas.
- To encourage the establishment of Primary Health Organisations across the country, though it will not be possible to fund them all to provide low cost access initially.


Ends

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