Story: Primary health care

Free medicines

Free medicines

Under the government's pharmaceutical benefits scheme, pharmaceutical medicines were made free in 1941. This 1948 cartoon suggests that consumption of medicines – represented by a cupboard full of bottles and boxes – grew a lot in the wake of this change.

Cartoon courtesy of the New Zealand Herald

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-311-1-025
Cartoon by Gordon Edward George Minhinnick

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Michael Belgrave, 'Primary health care - Improving access to health care, 1900s–1970s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 October 2022)

Story by Michael Belgrave, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2019