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Keeping Kiwis healthy - Labour

Keeping Kiwis healthy

Affordable, accessible healthcare; early intervention and a focus on children's health are top health priorities for Labour, Health spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

"Health is a critical investment in New Zealanders and is a priority for Labour in government," Grant Robertson said.

"With budgets coming under increasing pressure, smart, co-ordinated thinking is required across government to bring down health inequalities and ensure New Zealanders remain healthier for longer.

"Labour's health policy, launched today, strikes an important balance between maintaining access to quality services right now and planning for future demands on our health budget.

"It complements our policies in areas such as housing, employment, poverty eradication, for children, and economic development as part of a coordinated all-of-government approach to reduce inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders,

"We will re-invigorate primary health services to ensure they are affordable and available to people who need them, including vulnerable groups in society and those in rural areas. Primary healthcare providers are the front line of our health system and must be funded properly.

"The National government has underfunded health in the last two budgets. This is leading to cuts right across New Zealand.

"We will ensure that health funding does not slip further behind population growth, and will ensure consistent access to quality hospital services such as surgery.

Labour's health priorities include:

* Health funding to keep pace with a growing, ageing population;
* Free 24x7 doctors visits for under 6s;
* Ring-fence funding for mental health services;
* Ensure sustainable funding for aged care;
* More affordable dental care;
* Ensure consistent nationwide access to quality hospital services;
* A highly-skilled, highly-motivated workforce;
* All core government policies to have health impact assessments;
* Drive health sector efficiencies through innovation.

"Labour's health policy is one for our times. It offers a good mix of fair, pragmatic and future-focused initiatives that spend our valuable health dollars where they can make the biggest possible impact by helping people stay healthy and get access to services when they are needed," Grant Robertson said.

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