New Zealand First has announced a new senior citizens health initiative to provide holders of the SuperGold Card with three free GP visits each year.
Rt Hon Winston Peters told the Stratford Positive Ageing Group forum today that the prohibitive cost of visiting a GP was leading to an increased number of elderly being admitted to hospital.
“Giving senior citizens free access to GPs will lead to early diagnosis.
“Early diagnosis would save a small proportion of SuperGold Card holders currently being admitted for expensive hospital treatment from quickly deteriorating and needing treatment.
“Seeing a doctor for free and getting early diagnosis actually saves the country money.”
Mr Peters says a Members Bill has been submitted and if drawn from the ballot he can see no logical reason why it should not be supported by all political parties.
“This is about saving lives and keeping the elderly out of hospital without costing the country a cent.”
Mr Peters says New Zealand First was initially proposing one free doctors’ visit with another five visits capped at $10 each in a year.
“That has been changed in favour of three free visits per year because both the administrative costs and the outcome would be more beneficial.”