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Pilot programme targets child health

Pilot programme targets child health

A new programme to prevent children missing out on important health services has been welcomed by Health Minister Tony Ryall.

Mr Ryall visited NorthCare Grandview Road medical centre in Hamilton this morning to learn more about the National Child Health Information Programme (NCHIP), which aims to ensure no child falls between the cracks of the health system.

"Health providers across Waikato, such as GPs, Plunket, Well Child and others working with children, will be able to log on to a secure website to see whether or not a child is receiving their health milestones, such as immunisations, hearing tests and oral health check-ups.

"There are 29 interactions a child should have with health services before their sixth birthday - this new programme will be a game changer in ensuring all these interactions happen.

"If a health professional is unable to contact a child who is due for a health check, the coordination service will launch a wider search for that child. This will help locate vulnerable children who might otherwise have dropped off the radar.

"Last year around 30 per cent of Waikato infants weren't registered with their family doctor till several weeks after they were born and hundreds of children missed out on their immunisations. Thanks to this new programme, I'm told these statistics will be very different in a year’s time.

"This is a very exciting innovation which is going to make a big difference to child health in New Zealand as it's rolled out across the country," says Mr Ryall.

The Ministry of Health, National Health IT Board, Midlands Health Network and four district health boards joined forces to develop and fund the programme, which is led by Midlands Health Network.

The programme will start rolling out across the Waikato region next month and then out to the Lakes, Tairawhiti and Taranaki District Health Boards early next year.

ends

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