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Govt can't ignore rest home funding pleas

Dr Lynda Scott National Senior Citizens Spokesperson

4 October 2001

Govt can't ignore rest home funding pleas

The Government can't continue to force more elderly people to lose out on elder care because it is squeezing rest home and geriatric hospital budgets, National's Senior Citizens and Associate Health spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott says.

"Resident care provider Wellington City Mission and the Private Hospitals Association are complaining that hospitals haven't had a funding increase for three years and that fewer elderly are qualifying for care because the providers can't afford to meet demand.

"I am not surprised at the anger being expressed by the nurses, carers, managers and owners of rest homes and geriatric hospitals. The Government continues to dither over contract negotiations and is unable to bring any resolution to the current stand-off over the aged are funding crisis.

"The sector has unanimously rejected the Ministry of Health's proposal to use Section 88 notices to dictate the price for delivery of services. The Minister and the Ministry are ignoring the angry reaction to it meetings around the country.

"Religious and welfare organisations are selling up and getting out of providing elder care because they can't afford to keep going. Today in parliament Ruth Dyson showed how out of touch she is with this dire situation when she avoided answering questions over this and the complaints of elder care providers.

"Today's deadline extension for submissions will give more groups an opportunity to have their say but there are no guarantees the Government will listen.

" This Government cannot expect to get co-operation when it tries to bully and dictate to those providing aged care services. Our elderly are getting a raw deal and this Government will be judged on how it treats them, our frailest citizens," Dr Scott said.

Ends

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