Notice Type
Notice Title

Notice of Direction-Charging for

Maternity-Related Services for
Ineligible Women
Pursuant to section 32 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 ("NZPHD Act"), it has recently been revealed that there are ineligible women from overseas who are receiving publicly subsidised maternity-related health services.
These women would not generally fit within the eligibility criteria contained within the direction on eligibility issued under section 32 of the NZPHD Act.
However, Crown funding agreements with District Health Boards (DHBs) have given wider flexibility for the provision of subsidised maternity-related services to these ineligible women.
Through this direction, under section 32 of the NZPHD Act, I wish to clarify the Government policy on charging fees for maternity-related services for ineligible women.
It is Government policy that DHBs which provide ineligible women maternity-related health services may charge reasonable fees for those services.
I direct DHBs to implement this policy.
There is also an exemption within this policy.
It is that ineligible spouses or partners of New Zealand citizens or permanent residents are to be provided the same access to subsidised maternity-related services as eligible women.
This exemption avoids discrimination against ineligible overseas women who are married to, or in a similar relationship with, a New Zealander, given that New Zealand women with overseas partners are entitled to the subsidised maternity-related services.
There is no change to the entitlement of the baby for publicly subsidised health and disability services.
This direction does not limit New Zealand's reciprocal health care arrangements with the United Kingdom and Australia.
The reciprocal agreements cover services provided
during labour, birth, the immediate postnatal period and any maternity service that is required urgently.
Amendments will be made to each DHB's Crown funding agreement to reflect this policy.
Dated at Wellington this 15th day of September 2003.
ANNETTE KING, Minister of Health.