Improving access to hepatitis C treatment in the community

Initiatives are underway to help improve access to hepatitis C treatment in the community.

Special Needs Grant

Work & Income New Zealand provide support to improve access to hepatitis C treatments in the community for eligible clients via a Special Needs Grant. This involves funding hepatitis C treatment for eligible clients which may include prisoners who have been released from prison having already started hepatitis C treatment.

People seeking hepatitis C treatment in the community (from their GP) who would qualify for a community service card (low income and beneficiaries) may be eligible for a Special Needs Grant to cover the costs of transport (if required), prescription costs, and up to 3 or 4 doctor visits (as required).

To access this financial support, clients need to make an appointment with the local Work & Income Service Centre to check their eligibility.

Refer to the Work and Income website for more information.

Access to low cost GP visits for Community Service Card holders

The Community Services Card (CSC) has been set up to help individuals and their families with the costs of health care. It entitles the holder and their family to a reduction in the cost of some health services and prescriptions.

From 1 December 2018, several changes have taken place to provide people with greater access to primary care. The changes are part of Budget 2018 and include extending:

  • access to low-cost general practice visits to all CSC holders. This includes injury-related visits (ACC)
  • CSC eligibility to all people receiving the accommodation supplement or who are tenants in social housing
  • zero-fee general practice visits and exemption from the standard prescription co-payment charge (usually $5 per item) on subsidised prescription items for children aged 13 and under. This includes after-hours services and injury-related visits (ACC).

For more information refer to Primary health care.

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