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Ministry Won't Pay For Safe Elder Care

At meetings around the country Healthcare providers for the elderly are warning the Ministry of Health that they won't be able to provide safe elder care. Anger is being expressed over the future funding of rest homes and geriatric care, National's Senior Citizens spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said today.

"When I asked the Minister of Health in Parliament today whether she would attend any of these rowdy and angry meetings, she ducked for cover again saying it wasn't a Minister's responsibility."

The meetings have been 100 percent against the Minister's proposed standardisation of contracts for residential aged care providers which would move them from negotiated individual contracts to 'take it or leave it' section 88 contracts.

"Annette King says she wants to get a good grasp of the issues, but she won't front up to any of the meetings to hear the anger of health care providers.

"People at the meetings are very angry the Labour Government, which promised them so much, has failed to deliver. The nurses' organisation and rest home carers are angry they are getting no pay or funding increases despite this Government raising their expectations.

"Annette King's $11 million funding increase to rest homes will only give them an additional 0.5% funding. Geriatric hospitals get no increase at all, in fact new contracts for geriatric hospitals are taking a $12 a day cut per bed.

"We have an ageing population so this is an area which we must get right. At these meetings the Ministry of Health is being given some very strong messages. The Minister is only damaging herself if she doesn't heed them," Dr Scott said.


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