Topics: BUDGET, Health

Children Under 13 to receive free doctors visits and prescriptions

By Dean Nathan

As of July Next Year, there will be free doctors’ visits and prescriptions for children under the age of 13.

Despite the great news for children's health, it's not as if they're jumping for joy at this health clinic

Accordint to Ariana Roberts of Te Puawaitanga O Otangarei, “anything that can improve access to medical care and to medicines for everybody across NZ and across the country and especially for our tamariki is a positive thing.”

However, out on the street, parents seem to be impressed with this initiative.

Marcelle Kaipo says, “My kids are all asthmatic so if it goes right to 13 and you get prescriptions for the ventolin and stuff it'll be bonus for me. 

More money in my pocket for the food instead of just medication.”

Over 400,000 primary school children and their families are expected to benefit from free doctor visits and free prescriptions. 

An extra $23.8mil of funding over four years will go to supporting general practitioners and includes $8.9mil for rural general practices.

Hone Harawira states, “Non-Māori children are up here and Māori children are way down here. So they've allocated funding that will see very minimally improvement for our children, but that still way below non-Māori. Why should we applaud that?”

While small, it does provide some relief for families already struggling with the rise in the cost of living.