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Immunisation targets ramped up for child health

Hon Tony Ryall
National Party
Spokesman for Health

17 November 2011 Media Statement
Immunisation targets ramped up for child health

National's Health spokesman Tony Ryall says the party's health policy released today has a prevention focus, with a new ambitious immunisation target.

Mr Ryall says, "Under National, immunisation rates for two-year-olds have increased from just over 70 per cent to an unprecedented 91 per cent now. We are on track to achieve our target of having 95 per cent of two-year-olds fully immunised by the middle of next year.

"A re-elected National government will introduce a new immunisation target: that by the end of 2014, 95 per cent of all eight-month-old children are fully immunised with three scheduled vaccinations. The rate is currently around 70 per cent.

"Children are more likely to complete all immunisations if they begin early. They are most vulnerable to infectious diseases, like whooping cough and pneumococcal disease, between three months and 18 months of age.

"The new target will be supported with automatic enrolment of all babies with a GP and WellChild provider.

"The maternity and child health policy will also see more four-year-olds get B4 School Checks, further improve maternity services, and encourage healthier lifestyles at schools," Mr Ryall says.

Other features in the broader health policy include:
• A comprehensive after-hours telephone advice service with access to nurses, GPs and pharmacists
• Free after-hours GP visits for under six year olds
• The roll-out of a $12 million nation-wide rheumatic fever programme
• Expanded nutrition education through maternal and ante-natal support services
• The improvement of prostate health services
• The introduction of a single central electronic health record for every person by 2014
• Increasing the number of people with disabilities who choose how they spend their support funding.

Today's health policy announcement also includes improved mental health services for New Zealand’s young people. A separate announcement on this has been made by Associate Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman.

National is committed to continue protecting and growing New Zealand's public health service, says Mr Ryall.

Visit the policies at:


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