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Board concerned at changes to aged care funding

MEDIA RELEASE
10 November 2004

Board concerned at changes to aged care funding

Since October 2003 responsibility for planning and funding Disability Support Service (DSS) contracts passed from Government to District Health Boards. This includes services provided by community providers such as rest home care contracts, dementia, hospital and psychogeriatric services.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board chair, Kevin Atkinson is concerned about a change in Government policy reducing risk pool funding from two years to one which is anticipated to produce a $1.7 million funding gap for the DHB in the 2003/2004 year and approximately $2 million in the 2004/2005. Mr Atkinson comments “When DHBs accepted responsibility for managing disability support service contracts Government indicated that it would provide two year’s of risk pool funding.

“Risk pool funding was an important assurance for us as we already had concerns about the level of DSS funding being supplied to DHBs. We have now been advised that access to risk pool funding for the current year is not being made available, and while we are currently reviewing the budget implications it is very clear that taking millions out of funding for Hawke’s Bay’s vulnerable aged or disabled population will have significant implications.”

The Board has contacted the Ministry of Health voicing its concern that existing aged residential care providers receive appropriate and adequate funding and are hopeful of reaching a satisfactory resolution on this issue.

END

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