Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Free annual wellness check for all New Zealanders


Free annual wellness check for all New Zealanders

The Green Party has today launched the first in a series of "Green Solutions" it will be unveiling during the election campaign: a free, annual wellness check for all New Zealanders.

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, who announced the first Green Solution at the Party's Campaign Launch in Takapuna this afternoon, said the free yearly medical check, or "wellness check", was aimed at helping Kiwis stay healthy.

"The wellness check will be an opportunity for Kiwis to see a health professional when they're not sick," Ms Fitzsimons said. "It will be a free appointment for a general check-up, so that you can discuss how healthy your body is, any concerns you have, and get advice about what you can do to get healthier or stay healthy.

"We know that New Zealanders have high rates of obesity, undiagnosed diabetes, skin cancers and STDs. We also know that screening for some illnesses can dramatically improve our chances of survival.

"For goodness sake, we demand an annual warrant of fitness for our cars, why not take the same precautions with our health?"

The "Wellness Check" is one initiative contained in the Green Party's full health policy, to be launched shortly. The check could include: tests for blood pressure and cholesterol; a skin check for melanoma; screening for cervical, breast and prostate cancer, anaemia, or STDs; a nutrition check-up; exercise and fitsness advice; identification of other health needs such as depression, substance abuse, and pain management.

Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the wellness checks were an integral part of the Green Party's preventative approach to health.

"We want to give priority to health promotion, the prevention of illness and tackling the root causes of ill health. New Zealand spends $10 billion every year on health, but most of that goes on treating people once they have become ill.

"We want to shift the focus on to keeping people well, and taking simple steps to tackle the root causes of ill-health. We want a much more holistic approach to health, which treats the whole person and their environment, not just the symptoms of disease, and which empowers people to take greater care of themselves," Ms Kedgley said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the policy would have an upfront cost of around $200 million. However, this money would be saved, over time, by picking up health problems before they become serious, resulting in significant reductions in the numbers of people needing hospital care. By giving people individual advice on nutrition, physical activity and wellness, it would save spending on treating preventable diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and STDs.

Ms Fitzsimons said she was excited about today's Green Solution.

"It's a real Green Solution because it takes the long-term view. It says, 'let's look after ourselves now, so we don't get sick later'. It's a fence at the top of the cliff approach, when other political parties focus on the ambulance at the bottom. It's about doing the right thing now, so we don't have so many problems in the future."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election