$13 Million For Children Who Are Missing Out

  • Bill English

Health Minister Bill English today announced a $13 million child health package aimed at getting extra help to children who are missing out on health services.

"The key thrust of this package will be to take services to the children and families who don't use the services already available. We need to reach the children who are missing out and that means going to them rather than expecting them to find their way around health services.

"A key focus of the additional services will be on preventive care. This will be achieved through home and school-based programmes including:

providing extra home based health services to another 20,000 isolated children, tamariki Maori and Pacific children.
providing extra school based health services to another 152 primary schools. These services will be provided primarily by additional public health nurses and will be co-ordinated with the Strengthening Families Social Workers in Schools initiative.
increasing dental services available for 22,000 pre-school children, by training and supporting more community health workers and dental therapists.
providing extra disability support services for isolated (mainly rural) children including increased assistance with the child's care, more relief opportunities and more parent support.
"The total package will cost $13 million a year. Funding for the remainder of this financial year will be $7.95 million, which includes already announced one-off funding of $200,000 for Pacific provider development to support the Family Start programme, $800,000 for improvements to paediatric services, and $200,000 for autism services.

"The extended services provided as a result of the new funding will build on other Government initiatives underway such as Strengthening Families, Family Start and Family Health teams.

"Child health is a priority for the Government. In July I launched the Child Health Strategy, which sets out the direction of health care for children in New Zealand for the next 10 years.

"The health of most New Zealand children is good, but there is room for improvement amongst some groups. This money shows the Government's commitment to implementing the Strategy and to improving the health of children who have poorer health than other New Zealand children," said Mr English.