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$71 million boost for residential aged care

19 May 2005

Hon Pete Hodgson - Associate Minister of Health

$71 million boost for residential aged care

Funding for residential care for older New Zealanders has received a $70.9 million boost in Budget 2005, says Associate Minister of Health Pete Hodgson.

The money is for 2005-06 and will go to District Health Boards (DHBs) to pay for contracted providers of residential care services. It comprises $38.4 million to cover the cost of growing demand and inflation, as well as an additional $32.5 million.

This is in addition to the $16 million for aged residential care announced in December 2004 (which rises to $16.4 from 2005-06 onwards) and extra money announced to allow for the Holidays Act earlier this month.

"This is a significant boost for the DHBs and should go a long way towards providing higher quality and more secure services for the many older New Zealanders who use them," says Pete Hodgson.

"The government recognises the pressures faced by workers, providers and DHBs in meeting expectations for high quality residential care services for older New Zealanders.

"The provision of better pay and conditions and more training are key elements in improving staff retention and the overall quality of services. The new money announced today should enable workers, providers and the contracting DHBs more scope to make such improvements."

ENDS

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