April 22, 2015
Free not the answer for tamariki visits
A Northland initiative to make GP visits free for children up to 12 has failed to boost the number of tamariki Maori in the region seeing a doctor.
In the first three months of the scheme there was a 10 percent increase in visits, but the Maori rate of increase was only 1 percent.
Chris Farrelly, the chief executive of Manaia Primary Health Organisation, says that's the group that has the poorest health and needs the greatest improvement.
The district health board was conducting focus groups to identify how to make visits to the doctor more culturally acceptable.
It was also investigating transport, how appropriate and how approachable the services provided were.
Respiratory conditions and skin infections were among the main conditions the DHB hope can be prevented through timely access to primary healthcare.
From July 1 the rest of the country will get free GP visits for children aged 6 and 12 years old .
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com