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National has senior moment over aged care

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

21st October 2008 Media Statement

National has senior moment over aged care.

The Minister of Health, David Cunliffe says that National’s Tony Ryall was either having a senior moment or was just downright jealous of the Government’s $13 million dollar jump start of aged care policy .

“To suggest that we put the policy together in just five hours is complete rubbish as he well knows this was detailed cabinet policy that had been developed over many weeks.”

“The only kind explanation for Mr Ryall’s claim is that he just simply forgot that we signalled this further policy package when we announced the policy on resthome audits back on October the 9th.

“A press release from that announcement says clearly we would be making a further announcement.”

“This initiative was months in the making and required the approval of Cabinet. This was not adhoc policy formulated on the trot as National has been so keen to advance in this area,” said Mr Cunliffe.

The Minister of Health Mr Cunliffe said yesterday’s announcement was of a total package that provided extra funding for both aged care providers and a new workforce structure

“As I made it clear yesterday I expect the District Health Boards will respond quickly to this initiative and I have made it clear to Health Board CEOs that I will be looking for implementation without delay.”

Mr Cunliffe said he had also made it clear that he expected providers would pass the money on to the workforce.

“In terms of a new workforce structure I favour a staircased approach to workforce development that will lead to safer staffing levels. Within 5 years I want appropriate levels of qualifications for carers across the sector.

“Other changes have included a more transparent and effective auditing of resthome audits his will include spot checks ,the publication of audit report summaries and Ministry and DHB oversight over the appointment of resthome auditors.”


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