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Pressure on primary care sees kids go without

Annette King
Health Spokesperson

31 May 2013

Pressure on primary care sees kids go without

Charities are scrambling to ensure school sores, rheumatic fever and respiratory illness are kept out of the classroom, when the onus should be on the Minister to ensure vulnerable children get the checks they need, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

KidsCan manager Natalie Vincent says the charity wants to use a $500,000-a-year government grant to plug the obvious gaps in school health systems.

“It is good that KidsCan has some money to dedicate to this cause but it cannot plug all the gaps.

“Kids in poor health are going unchecked. These are precisely the kinds of holes the Minister should be addressing,” Annette King said.

“This year’s Budget dedicated a pitiful amount to primary health care. In one case a practice with more than 5,600 patients got less money for the entire year than former Speaker Lockwood Smith was paid to live in London for a week.

“Today’s story of the struggles faced by Papakura's Kelvin Rd School is another example of most vulnerable missing out due to the pressures the Minister has put on the health sector.

“The disparity in healthcare provided to schools is appalling. This is one area where a level playing field should be mandatory.

“A visit from a public health nurse should be the minimum parents and teachers can expect in our schools - especially as winter sets in,” Annette King said.

ENDS

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