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Crisis Deepens for Aged Care in Rural Communities

7 December 2004

Crisis Deepens for Aged Care in Rural Communities

Today the Waireka Home, a 56 bed residential care facility in rural Pahiatua told residents and staff that closure might be the only option due to Government under-funding.

Waireka Home is a registered charity run by the community to look after the town's elderly residents. Without this facility the elderly residents would have to leave the area.

It is understood that the already lowly paid caregivers, nurses and management will have to take a substantial pay cut if Waireka is to survive.

"Something is seriously wrong when poorly paid employees working in a charity run rest home, paid for by the Government are asked to take a pay cut whilst Dr Cullen sits on a $7 billon dollar surplus".

"This closure reaffirms again that the sector is in crisis, and comes on the heels of homes closing in Dunedin and the Salvation Army saying it was leaving the sector".

"It also comes at a time when DHBs have offered the sector a 1% funding increase, and are trying to intimidate providers into agreeing to it".

"All we want is for the Government to increase funding by 3% to compensate for inflation and for Ministers to work with us and the DHBs to establish a sustainable funding formula that brings security to residents, caregivers and providers", said Martin Taylor CEO of Residential Care New Zealand.

ENDS

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