Thousands of women to benefit from contraceptive changes

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter is pleased thousands of women will have better access to free or very low cost contraception.

“For some women, price is a significant barrier to accessing contraception. From this week, a new initiative offers women who have a Community Service Card, those living in low income areas, and various others who could benefit, better access to free or very low cost contraception, including long acting reversible contraceptives,” says Julie Anne Genter.

"Long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) are the most reliable methods of contraception available and are becoming more popular as people discover the benefits they offer.

“An example of a LARC is the Jadelle implant, where small rods are inserted just beneath the skin on the inside upper arm. This provides effective contraception for five years after insertion and the rods can be removed at any time by a trained medical professional.

“Improving access to effective long-acting implants makes it much easier for women to manage their fertility and reduce unintended pregnancies.

“The roll out has already begun, with expanded services being delivered by New Zealand Family Planning. From this week, other community-based health care providers will also start coming on board. The initiative is being made available nationwide over the next few months.

“Some of the funding will also go towards increasing primary care workers specialist contraceptive care skills, which includes training in how to safely insert and remove implants and for developing new guidelines to ensure high quality contraceptive services are delivered consistently nationwide,” says Julie Anne Genter

Total Ministry of Health funding of $6 million per annum has been allocated to this initiative which will primarily be delivered within primary health care.