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Health care for older people a priority

Dr Lynda Scott
Opposition Associate Health Spokesperson

Friday 26 May 2000

Health care for older people a priority

"Health services for older people must get priority attention over the next five to ten years if we are to deal with the needs of the ageing population," Opposition Associate Health spokesperson Lynda Scott said today.

"The National Health Committee's report on health care for older New Zealanders released today is a good starting point, and I urge the Government to pick it up and act on it.

"When the Ministry of Health reported to the Health Select Committee, I was amazed there was no Aged Care Policy. We have a rapidly increasing number of older people but no specific strategic policy.

"As a geriatrician I fully support the National Health Committee's call for strategic policy development and Integrated Assessment Services which include high-level access to multi-disciplinary assessment, treatment and rehabilitation services," Dr Scott said.

"But I have real doubts it will happen or be done properly. My worry is that over the next two years the health sector will be so focused on the health reforms and setting up district health boards that these important issues won't not be addressed.

"I will be pushing hard for a specific focus on health care for older people and will be working to ensure a strategy is given priority attention in the future."

Ends

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