Some Rotorua women and medical experts say a suggestion to have sanitary products funded by the Government is a great idea because those who can't afford the products are going without.

It was revealed this week that Pharmac, a government funding body, is considering an application to fund the products, with the first step being to determine whether sanitary products such as tampons and pads fall within the boundary of what the agency can fund.

The suggestion has created a lot of feedback on the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page with a majority of people saying it's a good idea.

However, others said budget brands of sanitary items weren't that expensive and most families should be able to find the money.


John Paul College nurse Cathy Flavell said she had seen a lot of girls who went without.

"A lot of girls don't have them, so unfortunately it comes out of my health and wellness budget," she said.

"There are other things I could be spending that money on, but they can't afford them and I can't say no."

Mrs Flavell said the price was too expensive for some families in Rotorua.

While some girls missed school because they didn't have access to sanitary products, most would come to her instead.

"I have girls come to me who say 'I had to use the last one and mum can't afford more'," she said.

A Rotorua woman who suffers from a chronic illness that requires the daily use of tampons and sanitary pads said funding would be a godsend.

"I hate to think about what I've spent over the past six months," said the woman, who did not want to be named.

"I think also, for other women who live week to week, the funding would help tremendously - every little bit helps. If Pharmac doesn't do it, then I think at least remove the GST."

Ranolf Medical Centre has posted a message of support on its Facebook page that said sanitary products were luxury items for some.

"We think this [funding] would be such a great idea, there are so many families out there that struggle to meet day-to-day basics. And, for some, sanitary products are definitely not basics, they are luxury items," the post said.

An online petition last year through to remove the 15 per cent GST on tampons and sanitary pads received 3000 signatures.