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Record funding boost for health of older people

Record funding boost for health of older people

Funding for the aged care sector has increased by $119 million, or 15.5 per cent, over the last two years, says Associate Minister of Health Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson says funding has reached a record $883million (ex GST) this year, reflecting the importance the Labour-led government places on the health of older people.

"We have invested in a host of initiatives, from aged residential care to disability support and home-based support services. This government is also progressively removing the much-hated asset testing introduced under National."

Mr Hodgson says older people are sending a clear message to the government.

"People are telling us they do not want to go into rest homes or dementia units early. They want to stay in their own homes and be better supported. Older New Zealanders have told us what they want and we have responded."

Mr Hodgson also points to huge improvements to surgical services for the elderly, with a doubling of orthopaedic surgery announced in last year's budget, as well as a fifty per cent increase in cataract surgery announced in this year's budget.

In the wake of this substantial investment in the health of older New Zealanders Mr Hodgson says it's staggering to see comments in the media from National Health spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison, claiming the sector is chronically under-funded.

"Dr Hutchison has failed to recognise the changes that have taken place right under his nose."

ENDS

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