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Geriatric Hospitals Again Face Funding Cuts

The Ministry of Health's token 'consultation' with aged care providers over their funding will make no difference to the Government stripping money from geriatric care, National's Senior Citizens spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said today.

The first of a fortnight of meetings with aged care providers around the country is in Whangärei today.

"The offer for hospital care sent to a new provider in the area has been cut by $12 a day to $118 a day. That means a cut of $4380 per patient per year.

"This funding cut when elder health care providers are already struggling to keep up with rising costs means less care and less ability to attract qualified staff.

"Aged care providers are worried the Government is using Section 88 notices to enforce price reductions. The Ministry's comments that geriatric hospitals were probably over-generously paid demonstrates how little he knows about the high level of care geriatric hospitals provide.

At the same time Carol Searl from the Ministry admits they would like to pay more.

"The Government's health cuts are hurting all sectors of the community and it is our frailest elderly who are the latest victims and bearing the brunt of health under-funding.

"It is sad to see quality care eroded by this Government's under-funding after National increased funding to health throughout the 1990s," said Dr Scott.


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