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Corporate Grip Tightens On Aged Care

31 January 2006

Corporate Grip Tightens On Aged Care

Corporate ownership is set to increase in aged care with the conditional purchase of Presbyterian Support’s six East Coast rest homes by Qualcare.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation spokesperson Rob Haultain said today the aged care sector was increasingly dominated by private operators, who were in the business to make money. Also on the increase is Australian ownership in the sector.

Qualcare is part owned by an Australasian private equity fund manager.

“It’s ironic that we continually hear from the companies operating aged care that they are broke and can’t afford to pay staff properly and yet they seem to have plenty of cash to buy up more facilities,” said Rob Haultain.

“Unfortunately the massive shift from not for profit ownership to corporate ownership in aged care has not translated into better pay and conditions for the dedicated and hardworking nurses and caregivers who work there,” she said.

“Corporates in aged care have a bad track record when it comes to paying staff fairly, offering decent conditions and ensuring their staff receive the training they need for the demanding work in aged care,” said Rob Haultain.

Rob Haultain said although significant extra Government funding was required for pay, staffing levels and training in aged care, profit making private businesses frequently used this as an excuse to pay rock bottom rates when they could afford more.

ENDS

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