Most doctors offering free visits for under-13s
Nearly all doctors are offering free visits for children under 13, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says.
He's told Parliament the take-up rate is 98 percent of general practices around the country.
The free visits have been funded by the Government since July 1, but doctors don't have to sign up.
When the scheme was announced in the May budget there were complaints that the funding was inadequate, and opposition parties doubted it would work.
It's costing $90 million over three years and Dr Coleman says it is working.
"The policy has been in place for just over two months and the sign-up rate of general practices has exceeded expectation," he said.
"As at September 1, 966 GP practices out of 985 were offering free daytime GP visits and we expect that several more will sign up in the coming weeks."
Visits for children under six were free before the under-13s policy came in.
Dr Coleman says 750,000 children are now covered by free doctor visits and free prescriptions.