Health spending is the headliner of the 2018 budget, with an extra $750 million allocated to capital spending and an additional $3.2 billion to operational funding over the next 4 years. The Minister described this as “bread and butter funding”. The new capital is slated to replace and refurbish hospitals and healthcare facilities. The additional operational funding is ticketed against a long list, including:

  • relieve pressure on the DHBs
  • free up queues for elective surgery
  • boost fees for midwives
  • improve air ambulance services
  • extend bowel cancer screening
  • pilot an integrated therapies mental health scheme for young people

Free doctors’ visits for everyone under the age of 14 and low-cost GP visits for all community service card holders will help make it an easier decision for many to seek primary health care.

Read more on the individual areas of the budget: