Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Greens launch free healthcare policy for teenagers

Greens launch free healthcare policy for teenagers

The Green Party today launched a $29 million plan to improve the health of young people aged 13-17, including making GP visits free for this group.

The plan offers free doctors’ visits and free medicine to teenagers aged 13 through to their 18th birthday, and removes a major barrier to young people accessing the healthcare they need at a crucial time in their lives.

The Green Party’s Healthy Teens, Healthy Futures package includes:
1. $21 million a year to extend free GP visits to the 290,000 teenagers aged 13-17 and abolish their prescription charges
2. A further $8 million a year (making $29 million in total) to help GPs deal with the extra workload from making visits free for 13-17 year olds
3. A commitment to a) developing new ways to deliver healthcare to teenagers, so that they can get medical advice where and how they want it, b) negotiating with DHBs and PHOs the funding necessary to make afterhours visits for all children up to age 18 free

“By extending free healthcare we send a message to teenagers that they matter at a time in their lives they really need to hear it,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Teenagers can have complicated needs, including mental illness, and sexual health issues, which can damage them forever if left untreated, and these young people shouldn’t be written off as too expensive to help.

“There are on-going costs to the health system of not treating teenage illness. We are committed to investing in health early to avoid costs later on.

“Our plan will reduce hospital admissions, help prevent unwanted pregnancies, and give kids the support they need to help them navigate young adulthood,” said Mrs Turei.

Researchers have found that one in four teenagers put off going to see a doctor when they needed to. Girls, Maori and Pacific teens and those from poor neighbourhoods were the most likely to put off going to the doctor or receiving other healthcare.

“There are a range of reasons why young people don’t go to the doctor or see a nurse when they need to, including confidentiality concerns and cost,” said Mrs Turei.

“Young people can spend up to $56 to see a doctor now. Our Healthy Teens, Healthy Futures package removes cost as a barrier to teenagers seeing a doctor or a nurse.

“The Green Party is committed to providing free access to doctors and nurses to all children and young people, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This level of care is vital, especially for lower income working families who can’t get to the doctor during the day.

“We are committing to working with healthcare providers, when in Government, to negotiate the funding required to cope with the extra workload from free doctors’ visits, and to provide free afterhours care, without cutting back on other services.”

You can read our Healthy Teens, Healthy Futures package at www.greens.org.nz/healthyfutures

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news