MEDIA RELEASE 3 December 2016
Hawke’s Bay teenagers get on track to healthy adulthood
NZNO congratulates Hawke’s Bay District Health Board for their wisdom in taking a preventative approach to healthcare by offering hundreds of Hawke’s Bay youth zero fees for visits to the doctor.
NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku is a representative on the Māori Relationship Board that supports the pilot scheme of free doctor’s visits for 13 – 17 year olds in areas where the cost of going to the doctor is a barrier to good healthcare. General practices that opt into the programme also sign up to providing a range of youth friendly clinical health services. It is projected to cost about $582,000 over a full financial year.
“There is a worrying gap in childhood and adolescence primary healthcare because of cost becoming a barrier to going to the doctor. This new option of free GP visits goes some way to bridging the gap and will mean our teenagers can take care of their health more easily,” Kerri Nuku said.
“I encourage parents to take their children to the doctor as necessary because not only will their children get great medical suport, their teens will naturally pay more attention to their wellbeing and this will set them up better for adulthood.
“NZNO is fully behind the push for good community healthcare and keeping people out of hospital and empowered to keep well.
“We would be delighted to see free doctor visits for teens rolled out across New Zealand and adopted by Government as a national fully-funded policy. We will be pressuring the government to fully fund universal free healthcare for teenagers,” Kerri Nuku said.
Media enquiries Karen Coltman: 027 431 2617.