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Minister of Rural Affairs Acknowledges Crisis

28 July 2005

Minister of Rural Affairs Acknowledges Aged Residential Care Crisis

HealthCare Providers NZ today congratulated Damien O’Connor for acknowledging the need to address the crisis in aged residential care, in his speech to the Inaugural Rural Health Summit.

“We are pleased that the Minister of Rural Affairs has recognised that the under funding of aged residential care services is an issue, an issue that is directly affecting rural communities”.

“In many rural areas when providers shut their door families are forced to travel long distances. This means they may not visit their elderly family members as much – which is wrong for all parties concerned. This is obviously a situation that the Minister of Rural Affairs wishes to avoid.”

“We are also heartened that Cabinet is obviously becoming more aware of the crisis in aged residential care. We look forward to the policy and funding solutions which will be put forward to address the situation”.

“Like the Minister, it is our wish to see aged residential care facilities in rural communities secured. However, it must be recognised that it is also communities in metropolitan areas who are affected by the current crisis”, said Martin Taylor, CEO of Healthcare Providers NZ.

ENDS

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