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Couples Must Get Care Together

Couples Must Get Care Together

New Zealand First is insisting that, with the passing of the Social Security (Long Term Residential Care) Amendment Bill, any person eligible for a subsidy for care receives the care component of the subsidy, including couples residing under occupation right agreements, says health spokesperson Barbara Stewart.

"We raised this matter directly with the Health Minister's office and we now await the agreed outcome that DHBs will be encouraged to constructively engage with providers to find an agreed solution.

"Put simply, the 'care' component from the subsidy must be disentangled from the 'accommodation' component. There are currently examples of DHBs and providers negotiating fair solutions to this situation. We believe this can and should happen across the country.

"If someone with an occupation right agreement is assessed as needing rest home level care which is provided at their place, then the Government should pay for that care and the owner of the facility should not be paid twice for the accommodation component.

"New Zealand First wants to ensure that a senior citizen who is eligible for a subsidy will receive it. Additionally, if they are receiving the same care package they should pay the same price.

"We have a commitment from the Minister's office that the Government expects the parties to work together to find a solution. Residential care providers will need to address the way in which they write their Retirement Village occupation right agreements, and DHBs will need to address this issue in their Age-related Residential Care Contracts.

"We are pleased that New Zealand First was able to work with the Government to resolve this matter and are confident of reaching a fair and equitable solution. We will be monitoring the government to ensure that it follows through on its undertakings," said Mrs Stewart.


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