Zero fees doctors’ visits for 93% of under sixes

Press Release – New Zealand Government

93 per cent of children aged under six receive free doctors’ visits during the daytime thanks to the 957 general practices who have opted into the zero fees scheme. In 2008 only 70 per cent of children received free visits.Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

31 July 2012

Zero fees doctors’ visits for 93% of under sixes

93 per cent of children aged under six receive free doctors’ visits during the daytime thanks to the 957 general practices who have opted into the zero fees scheme. In 2008 only 70 per cent of children received free visits.

This year the National Government introduced free after-hours doctors’ visits and currently over 90 per cent of children aged under six have access to free after-hours care within reasonable travel time.

“When a young child is unwell their condition can change very quickly – it’s important parents aren’t put off taking them to the doctor because of costs they can’t afford,” says Health Minister Tony Ryall.

“This Government is committed to giving young children the best possible access to health care. Over the past three years, we have invested over $65 million in the zero fees scheme.

“340,000 children under six years old receive free visits to the doctor – 23 per cent more children compared to 2008.

“Zero fees doctors’ visits are an important preventative health measure as parents are more likely to take their young child to the doctor for treatment before their condition becomes severe.

“The zero fees scheme is also benefiting children from the poorest homes with 98 per cent of high needs children enrolled with a doctor who provides free visits for under sixes.

Over 90 per cent of general practices in the country have voluntarily committed to providing free doctors’ visits to under sixes through the Very low Cost Access (VLCA) or the Zero Fees for Under Sixes scheme.

ENDS

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