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DHBS Hold Back Funding From Elderly

MEDIA RELEASE
1 June 2008

DHBS Hold Back Funding From Elderly

DHBs are holding back funding from the elderly aged care subsidy, offering an inflation adjustment of only 2.8% despite inflation running at 3.5%.

This offer was made despite DHBs receiving an inflation adjustment on the funding they receive for aged care of 3.3% , and an extra $2 billion dollars in this year’s budget.

“The most immediate affect of these reduced inflation adjustments is that those caregivers looking after the elderly will not be able to receive appropriate cost of living increases, which means the future will bring increased industrial action and disruption to those in care. Clearly, employers cannot pass on money they don’t haῶe, said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare providers NZ

Mr Taylor said all New Zealanders accept superannuation must be automatically inflation proofed to guarantee elderly living standards. We must also accept that the elderly care entitlement needs to be automatically inflation proofed.

DHBs and the Government tend to ignore the reality that Elderly Kiwis in care are facing the same cost pressures as other New Zealanders as food prices spike and fuel is the highest cost for consumers in years.

“While there was some catch up funding last year to cover costs incurred between 2000-2006, this Government has done nothing to ensure the elderly in care are protected from inflation by automatically indexing their entitlement to CPI.

“I am sure both the government and DHBs will refer back to past funding increases to show their largess, but the reality is under funding a sector for five years and then giving some financial relief does not address the issue of insulating the sector from inflation.”

“We have to get away from this ad hoc approach to elderly entitlements, and bring some consistency and surety into the sector, only then will we be able to ensure the right level of care can be delivered at the right time. This is about planning for a sustainable future for our elderly”, Mr Taylor said.

ENDS


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