Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Nat health policy: Intentions good, figures wrong

A Grey Power Media Release: 8 September 2005

Intentions good - figures wrong, says Grey Power on National Health Policy

“If nothing else, the National Party has at least recognised the plight of the aged care industry, by moving to allocate funding to relieve the hardship for both those receiving care, and those providing care,” says Graham Stairmand, national president of Grey Power.

“Aged care funding has deteriorated into a serious state of affairs for much too long. Both the “Ageing in Place” philosophy and the “Needs Assessment and Service Coordination” (itself a National Government programme) are being largely ignored. Today, cost, not patients, is clearly the main concern.

“While the intention is good, National’s proposed $24 million inflation adjustment, plus the additional $35 million to cover past under-funding is less than a tenth of the money required just to bring nurses and caregivers on par with public hospital staff,” Mr Stairmand says. “For an elected government responsible for the health care of all its citizens, this just is not good enough. National needs to rethink their figures.

“Ongoing critical staff shortages in the aged care sector will not be helped by the return of the Employment Contracts Act, which merely assures much of the money winds up in the pockets of overseas corporate providers,” he says.

Mr Stairmand says the proposed increase in elective surgery funding “is welcome, but we doubt the effectiveness of $100 million spread over more than 20,000 backlogged operations. This averages to $5000 per operation. A single hip operation alone costs about $13,000.

Mr Stairmand says the boost of $75 million to Pharmac over the next three years to expand the availability of new drugs, and the $19 million to fund homecare workers’ travel costs is both necessary and appreciated.

“But, while any additional help is good, National must guarantee to maintain the present level of basic health funding beyond this year. Otherwise the more cynically disposed might assume this is just another election bribe?

“Health care is a fact of life that is critical to the very young and the very old, Mr Stairmans says. Good intentions are not good enough.”

New Zealand Grey Power has more than 90,000 active members, and is recognised as a leading support organization for many of the more than three-quarters of a million retired New Zealanders. Grey Power maintains strict neutrality during the election campaign, but will respond with support and information that affects its members.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news