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Turner: children need proper vision testing

Turner: child health moves need proper vision testing

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner today welcomed the Government’s announcement of new child health measures as a good start, but needing serious beefing up, particularly in the area of school vision testing where the tests only pick up 10 percent of eye conditions.

“There are some good initiatives but continuing to use the same flawed vision and hearing testing regime is simply a cop-out and doing a disservice to parents and children,” Mrs Turner said.

“Anything less than accurate information in health areas is simply unsafe and therefore unacceptable,” she said.

Last year Mrs Turner revealed a two-year trial carried at Wanganui’s Castlecliff School involving 71 children who had been cleared by the screening programme. They were then assessed by an optometrist, with the result that 28 of them (40 percent) needed glasses immediately and a further 16 (23%) were asked to return in 12 months for further tests.

Today she renewed her call for a parliamentary inquiry into the programme and committed to taking the issue up in the next parliamentary term.

“This is actually too important an issue for the health and educational progress of children to be silent on,” she said.


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