Good health is important for any person to live a safe and happy life. Sometimes children and young people are not able to recognise the signs of illness, disease, or poor health, and may not have access to the services they need the most. This is why assisting children's and young people's access to health services is so important.
If you or your child need medical attention, Health Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for medical queries - free phone 0800 611 116. The call centre is staffed by trained medical professionals, including specialist Well Child nurses.
The Ministry of Health administers New Zealand's health system, however, medical care is provided by District Health Boards (DHBs) and Public Health Organisations (PHOs) all around the country. Each health system can have a different way of operating, so it is important to get all the information you can about the specific DHB in your area. You can do this by talking with your doctor, nurses, administrators, other health care professionals, or by contacting your local DHB.
On this page, you will find information on
Child consent to treatment and disclosure of their health information is a complex issue. In 1998, the Ministry of Health developed a comprehensive document entitled Consent in Child and Youth Health: Information for practitioners. This document covers all aspects of consent in child and youth health. The Care of Children Act 2004 also addresses consent issues.
The Privacy Commissioner has also addressed the issue of disclosing children's health and information in their document Disclosing children's health information - A legal and ethical framework.
GPs, through their PHOs are able to determine the fees they charge their patients. The Government offers doctors a voluntary fee reimbursement for children under six, which in turn determines the fees charged. Not all PHOs take the option of the Government fees reimbursement.
You can find information on doctors' fees in your local area on the Ministry of Health PHO guide.
Healthy children and young people
Much has been said about New Zealand's child obesity problem. The Ministry of Health has developed an overall strategy called Healthy Eating, Health Action. Find information on the strategy on the Ministry of Health's Healthy Eating, Healthy Action website.
If you are concerned about a child's or young person's mental health, it is important to contact a doctor in the first instance. The doctor will advise you what actions to take to have the child assessed.
Child and adolescent mental health facilities are attached to each district health board. Find the mental health services in your area.
The Low Down is a website aimed at young people with helpful information on experiencing depression.
Health Line is a free, 24 hour a day telephone health advice service. It also includes the Well Child advice service. Free phone 0800 611 116.
The Ministry of Health's child health website provides information for child health service providers and parents to help support their care of children/tamariki.
PlunketLine is a toll-free telephone advice service available to all families, whanau, and caregivers from 7am to midnight, seven days a week. Free phone 0800 933 922.