Elderly treated worse than prisoners
21 March 2013
Elderly treated worse than
It is inexcusable that some of New
Zealand’s most vulnerable elderly citizens are being
forced to wait longer than prisoners before receiving health
care assessments, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette
“Figures obtained by Aged Care show that rest
home residents in just seven of 19 regional DHBs catchment
areas are being assessed within what is considered an
‘acceptable’ period – 10 working days - while none of
the DHBs meet the three day ‘best practice’
“The health needs of prisoners are assessed in
a shorter timeframe – in fact they are assessed within
hours of a prisoner arrival at a penal institution.
average time between a first referral and an assessment (in
the quarter to June 2012) across the country was 16.2
working days, while in Waitemata one person had to wait 218
days for a needs assessment.
“Interestingly the data
regarding referral wait-times is collected by district
health boards, but is not information the Minister of Health
chooses to report publically.
“So Tony Ryall knows to
the decimal point how many operations hospitals are carrying
out and how DHBs are performing with regards to helping
smokers quit, but the healthcare of our older people
apparently counts for nothing.
“Elderly people often
have high health needs, yet won’t make a fuss. Having to
wait weeks before even being assessed, let alone receiving
the care they need leaves them even more vulnerable.
“Failing to address their problems early, where they
have support around medication and treatment if they need
it, is tantamount to neglect and it should not be
Source: In Touch, Aged Care. NASC
referral times to June 2012 quarter.
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