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Free health WOF will keep Kiwis on right tracK

Monday, 15 August 2005

UF's free health WOF will keep Kiwis on right track

All New Zealanders will be entitled to free annual 'Warrant of Fitness' health check-up in their birth month under United Future's health policy launched today - and it won't cost a cent more than is already budgeted for the health dollar, the party's deputy leader, Judy Turner, announced today.

"Every New Zealander will be get a free check-up which will be able to identify potential health problems before they become big issues in that person's life," she said in jointly launching the policy with party leader Peter Dunne.

"And it makes sense economically to identify problems early and deal with them, rather than have years of ongoing costs for chronic and debilitating conditions."

"Many serious conditions such as diabetes and heart attacks are avoidable if the risk factors are identified early on, enabling the patient to avoid more serious hospital treatment further down the track, not to mention fewer days off work, and less family disruption, stress and anxiety.

"When you consider the Ministry of Health estimates that 15% of all hospital stays would have been unnecessary if the patient had seen a GP earlier, this initiative is just plain common sense," Mr Dunne said.

"This initiative should have a particular impact on men's health, since they are traditionally reluctant to see medical professionals," he said.

A once a year check-up would also help establish better GP-patient relationships, particularly among those not inclined to visit doctors.

ENDS

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