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Another religious aged care provider to sell

3 June 2005

Another religious residential aged care provider to sell

The announcement today of a Hawke’s Bay aged care provider’s decision to sell its residential facilities is yet another example of current government policies not working, according to the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS).

Commenting on the decision by Presbyterian Support East Coast to sell four of their five residential aged care facilities, NZCCSS Executive Officer Jeremy Irvine says Government inaction on long-term funding is forcing a significant number of religious and welfare residential aged care providers out of the sector.

“Presbyterian Support East Coast is, sadly, going to be added to the list of religious aged care providers who have left, or are in the process of leaving the residential aged care sector. They’ve said in their public statements that the government has reneged on its part of the partnership between them and their community and that the Budget was a let-down. Funding announced in the Budget did nothing to address longer-term sustainability issues and was not going to allay concerns in the industry.”

Mr Irvine says that Presbyterian Support East Coast have not been able to maintain their residential care facilities and develop new services as well, noting the previous comment by Presbyterian Support East Coast’s CEO, Shaun Robinson that “underfunding has meant that we simply haven’t been able to do both.”

In aged residential care alone, more than two thousand rest home beds operated by religious and welfare organisations have been lost or are up for sale. Christian social service organisations with long traditions of care and commitment to the needs of the poor and vulnerable face difficult decisions about continuing to provide services when the prices they are paid by Government in no way reflect the realities of the costs of operating those services.


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