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Maternal Instinct Reserved For Foreigners

Maternal Instinct Reserved For Foreigners

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today called on Health Minister Annette King to explain why she had not addressed the issue of non-residents having their babies in New Zealand, in light of reports that it had been brought to her attention earlier.

"Around one in 35,000 births in New Zealand is to a non-resident - around 1,300 foreign mothers received free maternity healthcare last year, and their babies are entitled to New Zealand citizenship. Meanwhile, New Zealand patients are missing out," Mrs Roy said.

"The Minister has admitted that this problem was brought to her attention in July, but she has done nothing. It is completely unacceptable that she allows non-residents to receive free healthcare while Kiwi patients cannot access the medical treatment they need.

"I am calling on the Minister to urgently address this loophole. Hard-working New Zealand taxpayers fund our health system and, as such, should not have to wait because $1,000 a day hospital beds are being taken up by non-resident mothers and foreign students.

"If Ms King is at a loss as to how to fix this problem, I am happy to offer some free advice. ACT's solution is extremely simple: non-residents should not be allowed into the country without comprehensive private health insurance - so that New Zealanders are not left paying for a health system they do not get to use," Mrs Roy said.

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