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Better funding of aged care services

Paul Hutchison MP National Party Health Spokesman

6 September 2005

National commits to better funding of aged care services

Dealing with the developing crisis in aged care facilities will be a top priority in health for an incoming National Government, says National's Health spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

National announced its Health Policy in New Plymouth today.

"Under Labour, the aged residential care sector has suffered enormous uncertainty and growing financial pressure, with 40 rest homes closing in the past few years," says Dr Hutchison.

"One of National's priorities is to remove the uncertainty around negotiating an inflation adjustment in Aged Care funding with the 21 DHBs. National will ensure the inflation adjustment is passed on to providers in a timely way so that they can plan ahead with confidence. This will come at an initial annual cost of around $24 million, exclusive of GST.

"National will also commit a further $35 million per year into the Aged Residential Care contract from April 1, 2006 as a second step towards redressing Labour's severe underfunding.

"This will give the sector further certainty before a comprehensive review of both the aged residential sector and the home care sector is achieved," says Dr Hutchison.

National has already committed $19 million to fund homecare workers' travel costs.

ENDS

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