Clinic to treat women up to 30 for free

The New Zealand Herald - - News -

Women aged 18-30 are be­ing of­fered free GP health­care in a new ini­tia­tive in the Hawke’s Bay.

To­tara Health is of­fer­ing no-cost con­sul­ta­tions with doc­tors and nurses to peo­ple en­rolled at its sites in Flaxmere and Hast­ings.

Clin­i­cal direc­tor San­dra Jes­sop, who formed To­tara Health 15 years ago, said that after 30 years in Flaxmere she had seen count­less young woman putting the needs of their wha¯nau first, of­ten at the ex­pense of their own well­be­ing.

By re­mov­ing cost as a bar­rier, she hoped more young women would have reg­u­lar check-ups and en­joy the ben­e­fits of good health.

“We de­cided as a busi­ness that we needed to do some­thing more than

In sup­port­ing young women to be as well as they can be, we sup­port their chil­dren.

San­dra Jes­sop, clin­i­cal direc­tor

we were al­ready do­ing — we al­ready have free con­sults for those un­der 18.

“In sup­port­ing young women to be as well as they can be, we sup­port their chil­dren and that is a deeply sat­is­fy­ing thought for all of us at To­tara Health.”

The move will have an in­stant ben­e­fit for some 1600 women aged 18-30 cur­rently en­rolled at To­tara Health.

Health Hawke’s Bay’s Ma¯ ori Health Man­ager Lil­lian Ward said it was a “great ini­tia­tive for young moth­ers and their wha¯nau as it as­sists in tamariki get­ting the best start in life”.

Jes­sop said there had been an over­whelm­ing re­sponse to the of­fer.

Lo­cal coun­cil­lor Henare O’Keefe be­lieved it would “al­le­vi­ate a lot of stress for many of our peo­ple”.

“We all know the hard­ship that a lot of fam­i­lies are faced with and To­tara Health re­alises that there are fam­i­lies that just don’t go to the doc­tor be­cause they can’t af­ford it. I con­grat­u­late them for hav­ing the vi­sion and fore­sight to do that.”

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