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Impact of aging population in Ryall’s ‘too hard’ basket

Maryan
STREET
Health Spokesperson

15 January 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Impact of aging population in Ryall’s ‘too hard’ basket
The government is refusing to face up to what officials are describing as “critical” and one of the most challenging issues facing the health sector – the impact of New Zealand’s ageing population, Labour’s Health spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“A damning review of the Ministry of Health’s performance – put together by a team from the State Services Commission, Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - notes that while the Ministry has acknowledged the impact the rising tide of older Kiwis will have on the health system there is a gaping chasm when it comes to policy and planning.

"It is clear from the assessment of the Ministry’s efforts that it has no strategic direction, no policy and no work plan when it comes to addressing the urgent matter of our ageing population. The last work done in this area happened in 2008, when Labour was in government.

"What has Tony Ryall been doing for four years? Every practitioner I talk to knows that there is no serious work being done on preparing New Zealand and New Zealanders for the onset of old age and for the increase in numbers of over-65s. This is a challenging area and an issue the PIF report says the Ministry clearly has no ownership of.

"Tony Ryall is reflecting his leader's head in the sand approach to tackling the real problems. Just as John Key won't face up to the issue of superannuation, Tony Ryall won't face up to those facing the health sector as a consequence of an ‘older New Zealand’.

“This is going to hurt future generations, who will not only be paying for the care of this generation’s baby boomers, but for their own care as well.

“The Government cannot keep pushing this issue aside – dealing with it must start now," Maryan Street said.

ENDS

Scoop copy of review: pifmohreviewdec12.pdf

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