Hon Tony Ryall
Spokesman for Health
21 November 2011Media Statement
Better child health care under National
At risk Kiwi children are getting a better health deal under National, says Tony Ryall, National Party spokesman for
“Labour did a lot of talking. But for nine years it did nothing for the kids with rheumatic fever - even though they
kept saying fighting this third world disease was their priority.
“National has acted to address rheumatic fever. Under National, 22,000 children in the most at-risk areas are now part
of a $12 million throat swabbing and antibiotic follow-up programme to fight rheumatic fever.
“Labour talks a lot about prevention but its track record is poor. It failed to get anywhere near its target number of
B4School Checks - only three thousand checks were done under Labour.
“But National has dramatically increased the number of B4School Checks and we've delivered well over 100,000 checks to
ensure kids start school ready and healthy.
“Over the past couple of years children's avoidable hospital admissions have been at their lowest in the past decade.
Higher immunisation rates and increased, very low cost access to primary care are credited with the reduction in these
“Under National there's been a massive improvement in child immunisation - 91 per cent of all two year olds, up from 73
per cent under Labour - with the greatest improvements for Maori and Pacific children.
“Being immunised by a health professional also gets a child into the health system and National will introduce a new
target of 95 per cent of eight-month-olds fully immunised with the three scheduled vaccinations, and we'll ensure all
children are enrolled with a GP or WellChild/Tamariki Ora provider at birth.
“95 per cent of at-risk children under six now get free visits to see a doctor - and National is expanding that to
include after hours doctors visits.
"National's home insulation programme Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart has insulated over 130,000 Kiwi homes. This is a
massive preventive health initiative that deals with respiratory diseases like asthma - that Labour neglected.”
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