New Zealand abolishes GP copayments

NEW ZEALAND  As Australia ups the ante on copayments, New Zealand is heading in the other direction with free GP visits for children to be extended from age six up to 13 under a $90 million boost announced in the budget, reports Hawkes Bay Today.  Under the scheme, all primary school-aged children can go to a doctor for free, any time of the day, as well as being entitled to free prescriptions. The changes, which will be offered through general practices from July 1, 2015, will benefit more than 400,000 more children nationwide. Children's Commissioner Russell Wills said every winter, poor preschool and primary-aged children with chest and skin infections that had been left too long crowded the children's wards at state hospitals. "We commonly find that parents didn't take their child to the GP because they