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Rest Home Residents Being Penalised

12 July 2004

Rest Home Residents Being Penalised

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is questioning the Government’s commitment to elderly people following the recent withdrawal of Bay Care Medical Services’ after hours services to elderly residents in rest homes and private hospitals in Tauranga.

“When prisoners are funded for an average of $156 a day and the median price paid by the District Health Boards is just under $89 for people in rest home care, the Government’s priorities have to be taken with a grain of salt,” said Mr Peters.

“While the Government has publicly recognised that there is a problem in the caregiver industry, it is reticent about extra funding.

“The Bay of Plenty District Health Board has failed to progress discussions on funding issues, and as a result, the residents of rest homes and private hospitals around Tauranga are facing an increase in the cost of healthcare.

“Despite announcements that elderly will receive cheaper health care at medical practices which are part of a Primary Health Organisation, older people are still finding themselves at the bottom of the health list.

“The cost of visiting a doctor can act as a barrier which discourages older people from seeking medical assistance. Replacing the after hours medical service with a more expensive visiting service raises the barrier even higher and suggests that the Government is content with having elderly living out their final years without adequate health care,” Mr Peters said.

ENDS


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