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Wake Up Don, we've already done it!

6 September 2005 Media Statement

Wake Up Don, we've already done it!

Don Brash needs to come up with his own health policies, rather than trying to repackage ours, says Associate Minister of Health Pete Hodgson.

"Imitation is supposed to be one of the greatest forms of flattery, but when National tries to repackage the government's aged care policy as their own they just look sad," said Pete Hodgson.

Last month Brash announced National would put $19 million towards home-based support services, which he hopes to have in place by April, 2006. Labour has already committed $18.6 million from the May Budget, and will roll it out over the next few weeks – months earlier than National.

Brash wants more money for rest homes, but through the May Budget Labour has already made $71 million available for aged residential care, said Mr Hodgson. District Health Boards and Healthcare Providers have been negotiating the details for the past few weeks.

National also wants to have a close look at the future funding of the health of older people, but yet again Brash has missed the bus. Labour is already undertaking a study to determine the future funding levels needed to secure sustainability of the sector. This will be released this December.

"By the way Don, we are progressively removing National's asset testing for older New Zealanders. How about a promise you won't stop the phasing out of this much-hated regime to pay for those tax cuts you can't afford?"


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