Gambling with children's health

Free health care for children under six is all very well if you happen to fall sick between 9am and 5pm. But late at night that after hours doctor's visit could cost you an arm or a leg.

Paediatricians call it a ticking time bomb - the illnesses that go untreated because parents can't afford after hours medical care. They say preventable diseases are turning into lifetime scars because parents can't afford after hours treatment.

In a country where 28% of Kiwi kids live in poverty, that's almost a third of adults with health problems.

Health Minister Tony Ryall was asked to come on the show to talk about the concerns raised in Hannah Ockelford's story. His people said he was unavailable and referred Close Up to the Ministry of Health. The communications department at the Ministry says they tried hard to get one of their many experts in the areas of primary health care and child health to come on the show but no one would front.

Abstract: Source: ONE News

Photo: Source: ONE News Christmas came early for 30 Dunedin kids after they all got free grommet operations

Video: Source: ONE News