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Help For Young Children Needing Glasses

MEDIA RELEASE

EMBARGOED UNTIL 1AM THURSDAY JULY 1 1999


Hon Wyatt Creech
Minister of Health
1 July 1999

Help For Young Children Needing Glasses

About 7,000 young children are in line for help to get new glasses thanks to a
new Government payment which comes into force today. (July 1)

"We are working hard to help every young New Zealander have the best possible
chances in life," Health Minister Wyatt Creech said. "That means giving them
the best possible start.

"For some children just making certain any problems with their eyesight are
fixed early on can make a huge difference to their education, social skills and
opportunities in life.

"Over $4 million is going in to help some families with children under the age
of six with the costs of eye examinations, lenses, frames or eye patches."

>From today a subsidy of up to $200 per year for each under six-year-old will be
available to families on a Community Services Card, or High Use Health card.

"People who want to know more about how they can tap into the new subsidy can
ring the Health Funding Authority helpline 0800-Enquire (0800- 367 8473."

Children needing glasses will have to be referred by a doctor or a
vision-hearing tester. Optometrists or Ophthalmologists will undertake the
examination and prescription.

"Removing some of the cost barriers to getting a young child's eyes examined and
helping them get glasses has the potential to make a very real difference for
that child's future," Mr Creech said.



Information about the subsidy can be obtained from the HFA, The Plunket Society,
Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians and GP/i>

About 7,000 young children are in line for help to get new glasses thanks to a new Government payment which comes into force today. (July 1)

"We are working hard to help every young New Zealander have the best possible chances in life," Health Minister Wyatt Creech said. "That means giving them the best possible start.

"For some children just making certain any problems with their eyesight are fixed early on can make a huge difference to their education, social skills and opportunities in life.

"Over $4 million is going in to help some families with children under the age of six with the costs of eye examinations, lenses, frames or eye patches."

>From today a subsidy of up to $200 per year for each under six-year-old will be available to families on a Community Services Card, or High Use Health card.

"People who want to know more about how they can tap into the new subsidy can ring the Health Funding Authority helpline 0800-Enquire (0800- 367 8473."

Children needing glasses will have to be referred by a doctor or a vision-hearing tester. Optometrists or Ophthalmologists will undertake the examination and prescription.

"Removing some of the cost barriers to getting a young child's eyes examined and helping them get glasses has the potential to make a very real difference for that child's future," Mr Creech said.

Information about the subsidy can be obtained from the HFA, The Plunket Society, Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians and GP’s.

ENDS

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