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Price Freeze Continues For Geriatric Hospitals

16 May 2002

More than 100 geriatric hospitals face another year with no increase in funding, National Senior Citizens and Disability Spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said today.

"This means that despite rising costs over the past three years, the Government has not provided the additional funding needed for the care of our most frail elderly in the country's 133 stand alone geriatric hospitals.

"The small $1 a day increase to rest home dementia units is better than nothing, but it is unacceptable that residential services hospitals miss out again in the Government's latest contract offer for the provision of aged care.

"Geriatric hospitals must by law employ registered nursing staff because their patients needs are so high. Geriatric hospitals today are caring for those with terminal illness, advanced dementia and severe physical disability. These hospitals are struggling to recruit and retain nursing staff because they are so underfunded they can't pay the attractive salaries necessary.

"Ruth Dyson needs to tell the families of our frailest older citizens why their loved ones are missing out yet again. How are hospitals supposed to meet all the standards that are required of them when they fail, year after year, to receive any increase in funding," said Dr. Scott.


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