New Zealand gives $17.2m funding boost to support Syrian refugees' health
Editor's Note: NZ media is constantly reporting that too many citizens- mainly Maori- are living below the poverty line and suffering from poor health, yet millions of dollars will be going to 'specialised care' for refugees.
A funding boost of $17.2 million over four years will help support 500 Syrian refugees arriving in New Zealand.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the funding in Budget 2016 will help support refugees arriving over the next two years.
"The Government wants to support the Syrian refuges settling in New Zealand to successfully transition and adapt to the Kiwi lifestyle," he said.
"Many of these refugees have suffered a great deal of trauma and they will require ongoing specialised support.
"While many of the refugees will need counselling and support services, others will need help to manage a range of disabilities and chronic health conditions."
Refugees spend their first six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre in south Auckland.
The funding will cover initial GP assessment and immunisation costs, as well as access to mental health and disability services.
The funding will also go towards ongoing health costs – from primary care in the community to hospital level care.
Last year the Government announced New Zealand would welcome 750 Syrian refugees over the next two-and-a-half years in response to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
The majority of Syrian refugees will be resettled in Wellington and Dunedin.