Scheme sees more kids get sub­sidised glasses

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

There has been a sharp rise in the num­ber of chil­dren re­ceiv­ing glasses un­der a govern­ment sub­sidy, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Health.

Fig­ures re­leased by the min­istry in­di­cate that un­der the Chil­dren’s Spec­ta­cle Sub­sidy 28,000 kids had their eyes tested and were given glasses if re­quired last fi­nan­cial year – an in­crease of around 35 per cent from 2008.

The scheme is aimed at chil­dren 15 years or un­der, but can only be ac­cessed if the child or par­ent has a cur- rent com­mu­nity ser­vices card or a high use health card.

The sub­sidy can help with the cost of vi­sion tests, glasses, re­pairs or eye patches.

The most that can be paid is usu­ally $287.50 in­clud­ing GST.

Health Min­is­ter Tony Ryall says fund­ing for the sub­sidy has al­most tripled since 2007/08 to reach nearly $6 mil­lion a year.

‘‘This ex­tra fund­ing has meant the num­ber of chil­dren from low in­come fam­i­lies re­ceiv­ing the sub­sidy has grown con­sid­er­ably over the last four years,’’ he says.

Mr Ryall says more than 75 per cent of of the chil­dren who had their eyes tested last year re­quired new frames, new lenses or re­pairs to their cur­rent glasses.

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