Greens' focus on teen health welcome
"The teenage years can be very challenging and it would make a significant difference to remove the cost barriers that currently stop many teenagers getting the primary health care they need."
Health spokesperson Nikki Turner
Child Poverty Action Group says a Green Party policy to provide free healthcare for all children and young people up to 18 would make a real difference to teenagers' health.
CPAG spokesperson Associate Professor Nikki Turner said, "CPAG welcomes the announcement of the Green Party's Healthy Teen, Healthy Future package this morning. CPAG has advocated for free healthcare for under-18s for many years. Access to good health care in the teenage years is just as important as it is for younger children. These years are crucial to people's long term health and investing more in teenagers' health and well-being has major benefits for society."
Nikki Turner said, "Teenagers face the same challenges with respiratory and skin infections as younger children but their needs also include drug and alcohol problems, sexual health issues, and mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. The teenage years can be very challenging and it would make a significant difference to remove the cost barriers that currently stop many teenagers getting the primary health care they need."
CPAG recently released Child Poverty and Health, the first of a series of policy papers called Our Children, Our Choice being published in the run up to the election. In Child Poverty and Health CPAG makes nine recommendations which would significantly improve health outcomes for children in poverty, including free health care for under 18s and establishing youth-friendly health and social services in all low decile secondary schools.