Cheaper GP visits for more NZers
Before the last election, more than half a million New Zealanders a year avoided going to the GP because of cost. In a country like ours, that just wasn’t good enough.
That’s why, over the past year, our Government has been working hard to ensure everyone can access the healthcare they need, when they need it.
A big part of this is making it easier for more New Zealanders to visit their doctor.
From December 1, we’re cutting the cost of visiting the doctor for nearly 600,000 New Zealanders.
We’ve made doctors’ visits around $20 to $30 cheaper for all Community Services Card holders, and we’ve expanded access to the card as well. That means around 540,000 people can get access to cheaper doctor’s visits.
We’ve also extended free doctors’ visits to all children under the age of 14, meaning a further 56,000 young New Zealanders will be eligible for free GP visits and prescriptions.
That’s great news for families here in Palmerston North.
This matters for all New Zealanders. By making it easier for people to visit their GP, we’re helping ease the strain on hospital emergency departments, leaving them to focus on critical care, and saving taxpayers money in the long run.
I’m really proud of this policy, because I know the difference it will make for thousands of people here in Palmerston North. The most vulnerable people to illness simply can’t afford to take time off work. That’s the struggle I heard so often since I became your MP in 2008.
Now that we’re in Government, we’re seizing the opportunity to make things right in our health system. After a decade of underfunding and neglect, our health system has been left in need of serious investment. That’s why we’ve made rebuilding our health system a priority.