Members of Rotorua's health sector are hoping to see free access to medicine for those who can't afford it and better funding for youth health services in next week's Budget announcement.

Life Pharmacy owner Brett Fordyce said he often came across patients who could not afford their medication.

"I know it's only $5 per item on a prescription but, when you have someone come in with six items on a prescription and say they only have $10 available it makes things a bit tough."

Fordyce said staff were often asked which of the things on a list of medicines were more important and what could wait until more money was available.


"Alternatively someone may have $30 worth of medication to collect but only have $30 left after bills, for food and living costs for the week.

"The $5 is a government tax we collect on its behalf. When we send in our prescriptions to be paid, the $5 is deducted from what we are to receive per prescription."

He said considering free access to some medication was especially relevant to Rotorua.

"We see this struggle every week. It is something I would really love to see the Government look at."

Rotorua GP Tania Pinfold from the Rotovegas Youth Health Centre would like to see more funding for youth health services.

"Our service is currently running on reserves. We need more funding to continue the good work that has already been done."

She said all areas of youth health needed more funding, as did youth mental health across all sectors.

"We need more workforce funding so we have more people to do the jobs that need to be done."


Health sector wishlist
• More funding for youth health
• More funding for youth mental health
• Free access to some medications