Medicine: Free Drugs

Last week the New Zealand Ministry of Health announced a new wrinkle in its social-security plan: free medicine. Any person who needs medicine can get it from the druggist free and the Government pays the druggist. Only exceptions to this plan: 1) serums, vaccines, antitoxins; 2) patent medicines.

A month ago, the Government started a plan of free medical care. Under the plan, citizens register with the Government, present their cards to their family doctors, who, after treatment, send the cards to local health officials. For each patient, a doctor receives $3.50. So far, only about 50 of the country's 1,500 doctors...

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