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Aged care cabinet paper wastes more time

Lynda Scott National Party Senior Citizens Spokeswoman

10 May 2005

Aged care cabinet paper wastes more time

National's Senior Citizens spokeswoman, Lynda Scott, says Cabinet papers released today on aged care are just another delaying tactic and state what is already blatantly obvious.

"Our most vulnerable citizens deserve much better than the treatment they are getting from Labour," says Dr Scott.

"Aged care facilities are grossly underfunded. Small operators are closing their doors - about 40 in the last three years. As the financial squeeze becomes more intense, the quality of care inevitably gets reduced.

"How many reports does Labour need to state the blatantly obvious: that while money has been splashed around on every other sector, aged care has suffered?

"Though a health select committee report in 2003 warned of a potential crisis, Labour has ignored all warnings that aged care is not receiving the money or the attention it deserves.

"The neglect is in all sectors. Rest homes, dementia units, hospital providers, home care workers, carer relief, and elder abuse services all need immediate attention.

"We have seen the voluntary and not-for-profit sector driven out of care provision, and increasing numbers of residential care providers shutting their doors and walking away.

"DHBs are very concerned about being handed an underfunded sector to deal with. The whole area of aged care is in a far worse position now than when Labour took office in 1999," says Dr Scott.

National has said its immediate priority is to ensure there is adequate funding for elders in care in the disability services budget.

ENDS

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