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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

June 29, 2007

Joint press release West Coast DHB - West Coast PHO

Thousands of West Coasters aged 25 to 44 will from next week experience cheaper GP visits and prescription fees.

From July 1 fees for those aged 25 to 44 will reduce by about $27. This will mean the cost of seeing a GP on the West Coast will range from $10 to $25 (children under the age of six are free).

The cost of prescriptions will also reduce to around $3 per item.

Chief Executive Kevin Hague said in area like the West Coast where the average incomes were relatively low reducing the cost of seeing the doctor or nurse was incredibly important.

"Over the past five years the cost of seeing the doctor has significantly reduced, making it easier for families to access health services."

The Government has estimated that the cost for a family with two adults and two teenage children has fallen from about $940 a year to around $440 a year since subsidies for primary care were first introduced.

Mr Hague said the DHB wanted people to think of the reduced medical fees as an opportunity to take control of their health.

"We want people to think about what they can do to keep themselves well and how health services can help them do that."

Mr Hague said health was not only about treating people when they were sick, but was about working in partnership with individuals and communities to keep them well.

"Our shared goal is to have a healthier population."

The PHO would also like to see cheaper fees encourage people to go to their practice for preventative health checks, especially those at risk of heart disease or diabetes.

As well as the cheaper health fees the West Coast PHO has over the past few years also provided or introduced, free annual diabetes checks, free retinal screening for people with diabetes, free care plans for people with long term health issues, free palliative care visits, free vaccinations for children, free contraceptive and sexual health checks for under 22 year olds, free cardiovascular risk assessments and free annual cardiovascular check-ups for those with cardiovascular disease (as well as low cost checks for those at risk of developing it) - as well as a number of other initiatives.

Anthony Cooke of the West Coast PHO said the PHO is delighted to be able to assist people on the West Coast, by passing on the increased subsidies from the Government to the West Coast's practices and medical centres.


For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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