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Hutt Valley's healthier future

Fri, 2 July 2004

Hutt Valley's healthier future

As of yesterday, around 15,000 Hutt Valley people aged 65 and over can get cheaper doctor visits and reduced charges for many prescribed medicines.

Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard said that the benefits are available through Primary Health Organisations (PHOs), which are operating in communities around the country as part of a government drive to deliver better, more affordable community health care services.

"More than 80 per cent of the Hutt District Health Board's over-65 population is registered with a PHO and stand to gain from their share of a targeted cash injection of an extra $47 million into primary health care across the country.

"The Hutt Valley has around 15,000 people aged 65 and over who - if registered with a participating interim PHO - became eligible yesterday for cheaper doctor's visits and a maximum of $3 per item for most prescription items."

Trevor Mallard also welcomed the arrival of the Interim funded Tamaiti Whangai PHO, caring for around 4,400 people in Waiwhetu, Wainuiomata and Petone. It has two general practices, seven GPs and four practice nurses.

>From 1 July, 73 PHOs will care for more than 3.5 million New Zealanders -almost two million of whom now have access to reduced or low-cost primary health care.

"An extra $759 million is being invested over four years in primary health thanks to the Government's commitment to building strong public services and keeping New Zealanders well - in their community rather than in the hospital," Trevor Mallard said.

Trevor Mallard said he was also very pleased to see that people in Hutt City with very high needs now could now use the services of Piki Te Ora PHO, one of 18 PHOs around the country that are part of the $26 million Care Plus initiative.

Care Plus helps people suffering significant chronic illnesses (such as diabetes or heart disease), acute medical or mental health needs or a terminal illness.


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