Free GP visits for under 14s becomes a reality

Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health

New Zealand First is excited that its long-held policy to extend free GP visits to under-14s has finally become a reality.

Health spokesperson Jenny Marcroft joined Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister David Clark to formally launch the scheme in Wellington today.

“The implementation of the under-14s policy was a key commitment in the Labour-New Zealand First Coalition Agreement. This core New Zealand First policy builds on our 1996 policy of free GP visits for under six-year-olds,” Ms Marcroft says.

With funding for the programme secured in Budget 2018, the scheme will see an additional 56,000 young people eligible for zero-fees general practice care as well as 540,000 Community Services cardholders access to very low-cost GP visits.

“We know there are New Zealanders who are not visiting their doctor because of the cost. That is unacceptable,” Ms Marcroft says.

“Access to primary healthcare is essential as it is where problems are identified and potentially treated early, saving costs down the line.”

Next year’s Budget will further refine the strategic direction being set for primary health investment, which includes consideration of our Coalition Agreement commitment for a free annual health check for SuperGold cardholders.

“New Zealand First is committed to improving the lives of everyday New Zealanders. Slashing the cost of visiting the doctor will make a fundamental difference to so many.”

 

Jennifer.Marcroft@parliament.govt.nz

 

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