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National: Improving hospice care

John Key MP
National Party Leader

2 October 2008

National: Improving hospice care

National Party Leader John Key says a National-led Government will give hospices greater certainty of funding.

"This will help hospices continue to provide terminally ill New Zealanders and their families with the services and support they need, and help them to meet the growing challenges of our ageing population."

Mr Key says as the population ages, the demand for hospice care will grow. The proportion of the population aged over 65 is expected to more than double over the next 50 years, while the number of people suffering from cancer is expected to increase significantly.

"National will boost funding for hospices by $15 million a year to expand care and services and meet current financial challenges. This investment will provide equitable funding across hospices and secure this vital health service for our communities."

The funding will come from the indicative health spending allocations in the 2008 Budget.

Mr Key says this will help hospices keep up with the increasing demand for their services and allow them to:

* Expand the care and services they provide. * Retain nursing staff. * Move out of or reduce their deficits. * Reduce their reliance on fundraising.

"Labour has broken its promise on hospice funding."

In July 2005, Labour announced extra funding for DHBs to 'ensure all hospices are fully funded, via their DHBs, to provide essential services, such as clinical care and assessment and care coordination. The funding will also cover 70 percent of total hospice costs across the country'.

"Yet in 2008, hospices still receive - on average - just 50% of their operating funding from the government. As a result, hospices rely greatly on fundraising. This means that the services they provide to their communities are at risk.

"National knows New Zealand can do more for our hospices - much more.

"National will also commit to engaging with experienced staff involved in hospice care so that we can continue to improve this vital and often overlooked part of New Zealand health services," says Mr Key.

ENDS


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