, Deputy Political Editor
The government will extend free doctors visits' and prescriptions to under-14s and also make visits cheaper for people
eligible for a Community Services Card.
An estimated 540,000 people will benefit from the cheaper GP visits, saving between $20 and $30 a visit.
Anyone living in state housing or receiving the accommodation supplement will now also be eligible for one of those
That comes at a cost $362.7 million and the extension of free doctors' visits for people under 14 - $22m over four
Both come into effect on 1 December.
Midwives also get a boost - with $103.6m over four years to support community midwifery services, plus $9m over 2017 and
2018. About half will go toward an 8.9 percent increase in fees for more than 1400 lead maternity carers.
The nurses in schools programme will be extended to decile four secondary schools - meaning an extra 24,000 students
have access to that support.
The government has also announced a big boost in spending to help rebuild and maintain aging hospital and health
It will put $750m of new money to tackle building problems - that's $600m more than National pledged last Budget.
The government will put aside $100m which will be available to district health boards to draw upon should they need
Overall spending in health has been bumped up to $3.2 billion over four years, an extra $1b in over what was announced
in last year's Budget.
The bowel screening programme will be extended to a further five DHBs, as well as funding for a new national
coordination centre, and four regional centres.
Work will begin on introducing a free annual health check, including vision for SuperGold card holders. This is part of
the coalition agreement between New Zealand First and Labour.
More money is going into the country's air ambulance service to renew the helicopter fleet.
The health minister said much of the fleet was aging and many were only single-engine.
New funding of $60m over four years, along with an extra $22.9m from the Accident Compensation Corporation, will be used
to strengthen existing services and begin to modernise the fleet.