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DHBS: $71 Million For 'Aged Care' Not New Money

MEDIA RELEASE

Minister Promises $71 Million For ‘Residential Aged Care’ but DHBs Say it’s Not New Money.

Yesterday, in negotiations on the aged residential care contract (ARCC), DHBNZ told provider representatives that the $71 million promised by Pete Hodgson to the aged residential care sector in this year’s budget contained no new money.

The Provider Representative Coalition asked DHBNZ how much of the $71 million specifically allocated to “Residential Aged Care” in the budget would be applied to the negotiations, considering the Ministers press release said:

Hon Pete Hodgson
19/05/2005
$71 million boost for residential aged care
Funding for residential care for older New Zealanders has received a $70.9 million boost in Budget 2005, says Associate Minister of Health Pete Hodgson. The money is for 2005-06 and will go to District Health Boards (DHBs) to pay for contracted providers of residential care services.

However, DHBNZ told providers that $38.4 million of the $71 million was allocated to DHBs under the ‘Future Funding Path’ provision before the budget and that it is was in no way new money or tagged to aged residential care.

DHBNZ also said that the $32 million in the budget claimed as ‘additional’ funding was in no way additional, as it was money which should have been paid to DHBs the previous year for the contracts they took over. In effect this was just an on paper transaction to correct a mistake made when the MOH underpaid DHBs in the 2003/04 year.

Based on their understanding of the $71 million budget announcement, DHBNZ refused to say how much money, if any, would be passed on to aged residential care providers.

“If DHBNZ are to be believed, then this Government, did not allocate any new money in this years budget to address the crisis in aged residential care”.
“This situation is frustrating for providers – the Minister makes public statements about a “$71 million boost for residential aged care”, but then DHBs say that is not the case. Either the Minister’s announcement is inaccurate or DHBs are not doing what the Government wants them to do”.

At the end of the day it is the vulnerable elderly and the people who work in the aged care industry who are ultimately the losers in this situation.

“All we want is for our providers, employees and elderly to get a fair deal and to be treated in good faith by DHBs and the Labour led government”, says Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

The Provider Representative Coalition collectively represents almost all private hospitals and resthomes in New Zealand. The Group comprises: HealthCare Providers NZ, the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, and Association Residential Care Homes.

ENDS

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