More children receiving free doctors’ visits
Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
More children receiving free doctors’
There’s been a big increase in the number of
children under six getting free doctors’ visits – the
numbers are up 25 per cent on four years ago.
Minister Tony Ryall visited the Hillcrest Medical Centre in
Hamilton today – one of the 965 general practices in the
country providing free doctors’ visits to children under
six during the daytime.
“We are committed to
ensuring more young children get to see the doctor when they
need to, and removing cost as a reason not to,” says Mr
“95 per cent of children under six, including
98 per cent of children from low income families, are now
receiving free doctor’ visits.
“This year we are
investing over $30 million to provide free doctor’s visits
for children under six – double what was spent in 2008.
“Young children can be especially susceptible to
illnesses and can deteriorate quickly so it’s important
they get the right care, at the right time and in the right
“Regular doctors’ visits also mean children
are more likely to receive their vaccinations on time and be
protected from childhood illnesses like whooping cough,
measles and mumps.”
13 district health boards,
including Waikato, have 100 per cent of the children in
their communities enrolled at a general practice offering
free visits for children under six during the daytime.
This year the National Government introduced free
after-hours doctors’ visits and 97 per cent of Waikato
children under six have access to free after-hours
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