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Home Care Contract Process Questioned

12 March 2002

National's Disability Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott is questioning why the Government is slashing home care providers who have provided years of service to vulnerable and disabled New Zealanders.

"The DPA is so concerned about the agencies rumoured to have won the contracts because of complaints about the treatment they have provided, it has called on the Ministry of Health to reconsider its decision on the contracts. I support this view.

"This contracting should be stopped and those using the services consulted.

"These providers have been operating for years without any problems that we know of. Is this dramatic change a question of better quality or simply a cost saving and service cutting measure?

"Ruth Dyson wouldn't give a straight answer in Parliament today. She is hiding behind a review of the contracting process by the Ministry of its own handling of the contracting process. The Ministry reviewing itself raises serious questions as to whether there will be a fair assessment.

"This Government is treating the disabled and elderly affected by this change as though they are just chattels to be passed around. Ruth Dyson should be taking responsibility but she and her fellow Ministers, including Palmerston North MP Steve Maharey, were conspicuous by their absence at yesterday's meeting in Palmerston North," Dr Scott said.


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