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NZACA Welcomes Consultation on Premium Charging

Media release from NZ Aged Care Association

NZACA Welcomes Consultation on Premium Charging in Aged Residential Care Facilities

The New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA) said today it welcomed the Government’s announcement to consult over premium charging in the aged care sector.

The Chief Executive of the NZACA, Martin Taylor, said proposals on premium charging are about offering choice for elderly people and the Association would participate actively in the consultation process.

“We welcome the opportunity for our members’ views on premium charging to be part of this discussion. We believe that elderly New Zealanders should have the choice to pay for premium accommodation and services if they desire that little extra,” Mr Taylor said.

The entitlement the elderly receive for rest home, dementia and hospital level care covers the cost of providing around 11 square meters per resident in a single or multiple bedded room and communal bathroom facilities.

“Many elderly people and their families want more than what their government entitlement covers, and that choice is being and should continue to be provided by aged care providers,” Mr Taylor said, acknowledging that premium charging has been taking place for more than 20 years.

Premium charging is an integral part of the aged care sector for both profit and not for profit operators throughout the country.

The issue between DHBs and providers is whether premium-only facilities should be allowed and whether the elderly should be able to receive a premium service for free under certain conditions.

Currently, there are about 680 aged care facilities throughout New Zealand who provide 35,000 beds.

ENDS

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