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Funding boost for Plunket responds to baby boom

Steve Chadwick

5 November, 2008
Funding boost for Plunket responds to baby boom

Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick today announced that Plunket will receive almost $3 million each year in additional funding to deliver more WellChild checks.

"Plunket has worked hard to keep up with the increase in demand for its services due to the recent unexpected rise in the number of births," Steve Chadwick said.

"The organisation has been under particular pressure during the baby boom, and I would like to thank them for their ongoing commitment to delivering their highly valued services to families with new babies.

"Over the last nine months the Ministry of Health has been working with Plunket to ensure that it is able to meet this increased demand, and this money has been reallocated from existing health funds to support Plunket to continue its vital work delivering WellChild checks.

"Plunket is New Zealand's leading provider of WellChild and family health services. This government shares Plunket's goal to ensure New Zealand children are among the healthiest in the world. Improving child health is one of this Government's strategic health goals and we are fully committed to the continuing delivery of the Well Child service."

Plunket is contracted to deliver approximately 85 per cent of WellChild services, which offer health screening, education and support services for all New Zealand children and their whanua, from birth to five years.

Steve Chadwick said today's funding increase of $2.9 million per year came on top of significant increases in funding for Plunket since 2000.

"Plunket plays a vital role in the lives of young New Zealand families and this government has more than doubled its funding since 2000, from $18.8 million to $39.5 million this year.

"When Sir Truby King founded Plunket in 1907, he talked about building "a fence at the top of the cliff" to "help the mothers and save the babies" - building that fence to keep young children safe and well is still an essential component that underlies child health services today.

"While maintaining this vision to help parents and babies, Plunket has moved with the times, and developed new ways to meet the needs of diverse families in New Zealand."


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