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Having a healthy diet and getting regular exercise will reduce the need to spend money on health care.

Health Navigator provides information on a wide range of health conditions and treatments. Also information about medicines, healthy living, services and support in New Zealand.

Ministry of Health NZ has reliable advice on access to health care services including hospitals, doctors and dentists. There are also sections which provide information for people with chronic conditions, mental health problems etc

The Health point website provides up-to-date information about health care providers, referrals, services and treatments.

If you don’t have access to a doctor and are unsure of what to do about a health problem that has arisen, you could phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for medical advice that is free.

Before visiting the doctor, make a list of each health problem you need help with and note the symptoms and when they started.
This can ensure that you get the correct treatment and save time and money

If you have been taking the same medication for a long time, it should be cheaper to phone your doctor’s receptionist for a repeat prescription rather than make an appointment with your doctor.

If you are on a low income you can use a Community services card to reduce the cost of doctor’s visits and Prescription fees. To see if you are eligible for a community services card visit the work and income website.

The higher use Health Card (HUHC) is available to those who have visited a health practitioner 12 or more times in one year for an on-going condition. The Doctor makes the application on behalf of the patient and the card lasts for one year.

The prescription subsidy scheme is aimed at reducing costs for those on a lot of medication. Once you have paid for twenty prescription items from 1 Feb you become eligible. The 20 item threshold can be reached by combining items from other family members. Check with your pharmacist to see if you are eligible.

To save money on non-prescription medications there are many options including supermarkets, Chemist warehouse, bargain chemist and Zoom Pharmacy. Try to find a pharmacy in your area that does not charge for prescriptions.

If your blood pressure needs to be tested regularly, you could save a lot of money by purchasing a blood pressure monitor from a pharmacy.

Do not take out expensive medical insurance because if you have an urgent medical problem, you will be admitted to a public hospital.

If you have a non urgent medical problem that could require surgery, try finding out if lifestyle changes, diet and exercises could help before paying for an expensive operation.

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