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No Budget Money For Providers Of Residential Care

No Guaranteed Money In Budget For Providers Of Residential Care

Today the government gave some money to DHBs for the residential care sector but failed to guarantee it would go to providers.

Pete Hodgson announced a $71 million boost for the residential aged care however on closer examination it is uncertain how much, if any, will be passed on to providers.

Broken down, $32.5 million is earmarked to “fully fund“ DHBs for the Aged Residential Care contracts they took over from the Ministry of Health in 2003/4. This is an acknowledgement that not enough money was passed onto DHBs in the first instance. In no respects does the $32.5 million mean extra funding for providers.

This leaves $38.4 million which is meant to “cover inflation and demand growth” for Residential care, Home based care services, Treatment & Rehabilitation, and other aged care services. Again this money is not earmarked for residential care and providers will have to compete with all the other services just to get an inflation adjustment.

“The only positive point in all of this is that DHBs baseline funding has been increased to account for inflation in the residential care sector, but at the end of the day winning an annual inflation adjustment does not change the underlying funding gap”, says Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

“Most worrying of all is that the $38.4 million which is meant to cover ‘demand growth’. I can say at the present funding levels it is hard to see many providers building more beds to look after the increasing elderly population” says Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

The budget in no way meets the obligation Pete Hodgson placed on his government earlier this month when he said, “we do accept that there is a funding gap and we do accept that the Government has an obligation to address it.”

“The budget has been a bit of a disappointment, we can see no increase in the $80 a day paid to providers to look after the elderly in residential care and we see no money to compensate us for the Nurses MECA”, says Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

“The reality is the crisis in aged care will continue as residential care bed numbers will continue to decrease whilst the elderly population increases”, says Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ. ENDS

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