Free after-hours ACC visits for under six-year-olds

By Kate Shuttleworth

The change will also help reduce the numbers of young children in busy hospital emergency departments with accidental injuries. Photo / Thinkstock
The change will also help reduce the numbers of young children in busy hospital emergency departments with accidental injuries. Photo / Thinkstock

Free after-hours doctor's visits for under 6-year-olds will be extended to visits covered by ACC.

ACC Minister Judith Collins said ACC would work with GP networks and after-hours clinics to extend the free medical care and would aim to have the arrangement in place by the end of December.

Free after-hours visits would encourage families to get urgent care for injuries, she said.

"This will also help reduce the numbers of young children presenting to our busy hospital emergency departments with an accidental injury that a GP could have treated."

ACC will negotiate with GPs and after-hours clinics to make necessary changes to contracts it has with accident and medical and rural general practitioners.

There will also be a change to the regulations under which ACC pays for visits to other GPs.

The total rate that ACC pays per patient visit will be increased by $5, to between $42.40 and $59.25 per 5-20 minute consultation across the board.

Ms Collins said the increase would make it easier for providers to offer free after-hours accident care.

- APNZ

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