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Government Has Spotlight On Child Health

The Minister of Health today re-iterated that the Government has the spotlight on child health and significant progress is being made.

"All in the community must play a part in solving these problems, parents included. Immunisations and doctors visits for under six-year-olds are free (fully taxpayer subsidised)."

Mr Creech noted that a report on child health in South Auckland not been presented to the Government or health officials.

"An executive summary did show health improvements were being made and they should be noted to balance the reports on this issue.

"Cot deaths are down by more than 50 per cent, and there's been a marked decrease in the Maori cot death rate. All children on the grommet waiting list have had their surgery and vision and hearing testing programmes have been successful. There are no waiting lists for Campbell Lodge mental health services, extra Mason funding has seen a significant increase in staffing, and there is also a range of new mental health programmes and a range of other new child health programmes.

"The Child Health Strategy released a year ago to improve the health of New Zealand children is now being implemented. It will see more health promotion, prevention and early intervention, and better co-ordination.

"An extra $13.25 million per year has been allocated to implement the strategy and includes expenditure on extra home based health services for another 20,000 Maori and Pacific Island children, extra school based health services to 152 primary schools, an increase in dental services for 22,000 pre school children."

"There are also services including, free doctors visits for under six year olds, integrated/co-ordinated care between GPs, community health clinics and hospitals to get children the right care at the right time by the right person, funding for Plunketline, free immunisation, free flu vaccines for chronically ill children subsidies for glass for under six year olds and specific child mental health initiatives."


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