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Free Health Care For Our Kids

18 June 2002

The New Zealand First Leader and Member for Tauranga, Winston Peters has today confirmed that New Zealand First will extend free health care to older children.

“When we introduced free doctors visits and prescriptions for the under sixes in 1997 it was with the expectation that the subsidy would be maintained relative to inflation and that the age limit would be progressively lifted,” Mr. Peters said.

“The practical problems with the Labour-led government’s plan to target poorer patients for cheaper health services were predictable. Our public health service continues to be fragmented with many New Zealanders unable to access fairly priced services, or in some areas any services at all. It is becoming a third world health system wallowing under the pressures of high immigration, serious under funding as a result of an under performing economy, and the effects of interminable re-structuring.

“Can we fix it? Yes we can! New Zealand First will focus on increasing economic growth and the percentage of GDP spent on health in keeping with first world levels. And we will focus on families and prevention first by expanding screening and immunisation programmes and by progressively extending the age limit for free care, initially to cover all primary school children,” Mr. Peters said.

ENDS

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