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Improving health outcomes for Māori

Hon Mita Ririnui
Associate Minister of Health

Improving health outcomes for Māori

Budget 2007 underlines the Labour-led government's strategy to continue to invest in health to reduce inequalities and improve health outcomes for Māori, Associate Health Minister Mita Ririnui said today.

Budget 2007 provides a $750 million per annum boost to the health budget and funds major new investments for New Zealanders of all ages including children and young people, families, and a number of initiatives to improve New Zealanders' access to high quality health services.

"Over eight budgets, the Labour-led government has invested heavily in health and in doing so has changed the face of health care delivery in New Zealand. Only a Labour-led government budget recognises the diversity of our society and invests accordingly.

"Budget 2007 funds a four-year $124.2 million investment in child and youth health. Immunisation is one of the most powerful tools to prevent ill health, disability or even death. The annual rates of invasive diseases like this are higher amongst our tamariki. The prevention of unnecessary illness and suffering is a gift we can give them.

"This budget expands the successful diabetes "Get Checked" programme and importantly enables work to be done to include cardiovascular risk assessment to programme. For Māori this is a key preventative tool. If we identify our risk early we can start to modify our lifestyle and seek whanau support for these positive changes."

"Primary Health services in the community continue to seek out ways to reach people who may have been missing out in the past. We know many whanau were not comfortable with one-size-fits-all. This Budget also delivers money for the last remaining age group in the Primary Health Care Strategy so that from 1 July 25 – 44 year olds will pay no more than $3 for most of the prescriptions their family practice writes out," Mita Ririnui said.

ENDS

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