From birth to five years, all children in New Zealand qualify for a free health service called Well Child/Tamariki Ora. It gives children a range of health checks and provides support and advice for new parents. Your Lead Maternity Carer (usually your midwife) will get you started on this programme if you are a new parent.
One of the providers of the Well Child service is the Plunket Society. Plunket provides a wide range of free support services for children under 5 years and their parents. Its services include home and clinic visits, mobile clinics, and PlunketLine – a free telephone advice service for parents on 0800 933 922.
All children under 13 years are eligible for some free medical care. This includes:
- immunisations against serious disease
- regular eyesight and hearing checks at school
- visits to the doctor. Not all GPs may provide free visits, so check with your GP first.
- Basic dental care through school dental clinics is also free while children are at school.
If your child is 15 years or under and has eyesight problems, you may be able to get a spectacle subsidy.