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Who Cares About the Elderly?

Press Release from HealthCare Providers NZ Inc


Who Cares About the Elderly?

Today HealthCare Providers NZ (HCPNZ) launched a campaign to raise awareness on the issues facing New Zealand’s aged care sector.

“Clearly, the aged care sector is under pressure and in danger of not being able to provide enough beds or services to ensure elderly people maintain a good standard of living,” said Martin Taylor, Chief Executive of HCPNZ .

Martin Taylor said the situation is being caused by:

1. Increasing numbers of elderly and no planning by government on future demand.
2. Unmet inflationary costs due to no automatic CPI inflation adjustment to the aged care entitlement.
3. An aged care subsidy which is not sufficient to encourage the building of enough new facilities.

Broadly the campaign has three goals:

• The first goal is to raise public awareness about the issues facing aged care and what policies are needed to address these issues.
• The second goal is to bring together all information from political parties into one place for easy access.
• The third goal is to provide a forum for New Zealanders to post comments and ask questions.

It also needs to be clearly stated, HealthCare Providers NZ is politically neutral. That is why our message is ‘vote for those who care’, and why it is up to each and every individual to judge if our policy requests are reasonable and if the political commitments to meet our policy requests are reasonable.

Martin Taylor said bed shortages are becoming a reality in many areas, and the sector is aware of situations where elderly people are having to move out of their community to find a bed. “Is it fair that elderly people have to move 100 km or more away from loved ones just to receive care? I don’t think so.

“We know there is going to be a chronic bed shortage crisis because bed numbers are not increasing at the same pace as the elderly population. In just the last year the percentage of over-65s grew by 2.1% . That’s over twice the rate for other all ages combined. This should be a wake up call to everyone.

“There is also growing concern about our ability to continue providing the same level of services in future because this year our inflation adjustment was $7 million less than required to provide the same standard of living to the elderly as last year – clearly this is not sustainable if it continues.”

“Our new website has all the details of the campaign including which parties have committed to the four policies we have indentified as necessary to ensure standards of living for the elderly in care.”

To find out more about Vote for Those Who Care go to www.whocares.org.nz

ends

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