© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Government announce free/low cost contraception

Louise Ternouth
Elizabeth Thomson
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Contraceptive pill Pixabay

A new initiative means thousands of women will soon have better access to free or low cost contraception.

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter is pleased thousands of women will have better access to free or very low-cost contraception.

From now on, women who have a community services card or live in low-income areas will access to free or very low-cost contraceptives.

“For some women, price is a significant barrier to accessing contraception so improving access to effective long-acting implants makes it much easier for women to manage their fertility and reduce unintended pregnancies" says Julie Anne Genter.

Members of the public told METRONEWS they strongly believed contraception should be funded for women. 

A woman who wished to remain anonymous said, "It's important to have a preventative option for women out there and easy to access."

Longer lasting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) will be a big focus. These include IUD's or rod implants. 

The Ministry of Health is allocating $6 million per annum to this initiative which will be delivered within primary health care.

Julie Anne Genter said, "Some of the funding will also go towards increasing primary care workers specialist contraceptive care skills, which includes training in how to safely insert and remove implants and for developing new guidelines to ensure high-quality contraceptive services are delivered consistently nationwide."

Currently, Family Planning will deliver the services. Other community-based health care providers are looking at joining the scheme.

The initiative is being made available nationwide over the next few months.