New Zealand First has announced its ‘Healthy Kiwis Package’ at a public meeting in Rotorua. The ‘Healthy Kiwis Package’ commits to;
- Increasing Pharmac funding to 1.4% of GDP by 2023, in line with the OECD average.
- Expanding free basic dental care for 18 to 25 year olds, Community Service Card holders and SuperGold Card holders.
- Providing a free annual eye check for over 65’s
- $10 million toward free counselling sessions through I Am Hope
- Committed to funding the St John Ambulance Service as they have asked of us
“During this term, we’ve already drastically increased funding to overhaul our health system, we’ve expanded free Doctors’ visits for under 14’s and funded a free annual health check for SuperGold Card holders. However, there’s more that we need to do,” said Leader of New Zealand First Winston Peters
“New Zealand’s Combined Pharmaceutical Budget has underperformed, funded to a level of 0.9% of GDP compared to our OECD partners. Increasing this funding will give Kiwis greater access to the medicines they need to be healthy.
“We will establish a transparent annual medicines budget that includes new investment in community and hospital medicines to meet the OECD average of up to 1.4% of GDP by 2023. This new investment includes establishment of a specific rare disorder medicines fund of $30 million per annum,” said Mr Peters
“Expand free dental care through a yearly free check-up, x-ray and clean for 18 - 25 year olds, Community Service Card holders and SuperGold Card Holders. This would be funded and provided at community based dental facilities rather than overloading hospital services.
“Dental decay is our most common chronic disease with 1.6 million New Zealanders not obtaining dental care due to cost. We’re committing to halt preventable dental disease which can impact chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease,” said Mr Peters.
“We had a coalition agreement condition to provide one free annual health check and eye test for over 65’s. We’ve announced funding for the annual health check in Budget 2020 but need to secure the eye test. This is another preventative measure to halt preventable disease and improve health outcomes.
“Earlier in our ‘Back Your Future’ bus tour we announced $10 million toward free counselling sessions through I Am Hope/Gumboot Friday and committed to fully funding St John Ambulance Service.
“Investing in the health and wellbeing of our own will reduce issues, and costs, down the track. Any responsible government will see that Kiwis are our country’s greatest asset, so we need to invest in them,” said Mr Peters.