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Health Select Committee Views on Aged Care Funds Out of Step

Media release from NZ Aged Care Association

Health Select Committee Views on Aged Care Funding Out of Step with Public

Parliament’s Health Select Committee continues to ignore the underfunding of aged residential care despite the majority of New Zealanders supporting an increase in funding for the elderly, the New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA) said today.

In a majority decision of the Health Select Committee, MPs ignored the views of 82 per cent of Kiwis over 50 when they confirmed their acceptance of the status quo with around current aged residential care funding arrangements.

The Committee encouraged aged care employers and employees to develop fair rates of pay but failed to acknowledge that pay rates cannot move without more government funding.

“These types of woolly statements and clear omissions are surprising when more than three quarters of the of the over 50’s want to see more funding earmarked for aged residential care,” the Chief Executive of the NZACA, Mr Martin Taylor, said today.

A recent Colmar Brunton survey found 82 percent of New Zealanders agree that the Government should increase funding to aged residential care providers” [1].

It is not only the New Zealand public that believe the sector is under-funded.

In 2010, a million-dollar Government-funded report (the Grant Thornton Aged Residential Care Review) concluded that the sector was under-funded with current levels unable to support the construction of new modern aged-care facilities required to meet the grey tsunami.

The Human Rights Commission also concluded in 2012 that the sector was under-funded.

“If the Government is to satisfy public opinion and respond in a meaningful way to the independent research they funded then they must deliver increased funding starting in this year’s budget,” Mr Taylor said.

ENDS

[1] The survey asked 1006 people over the age of 50 the question, ‘How much do you agree or disagree that the government should increase funding for rest homes and aged residential care facilities in New Zealand?. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 3%


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