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

 


Aged Care Providers Refuse to Sign Contract

Aged Care Providers Refuse to Sign Contract


Providers of aged residential care have told the Government they will not sign the contract variation between them and District Health Boards, citing underfunding and a lack of commitment to the InterRAI quality initiative.

Failure to sign the contract means the Government will be unable to make the adoption of the InterRAI initiative mandatory on all aged care providers by 1 July 2014, as it has promised to do so, says the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Aged Care Association, Mr Martin Taylor.

“The National Government has contributed directly to increased costs in the delivery of aged residential care by 3.2 percent through changes to KiwiSaver contributions and by increasing the minimum wage”.

“On top of that, inflation in the aged care sector has risen by 3.4 percent through increases in care costs related to food, staff wages, medical supplies and electricity. There has also been a 1 percent cost impact from insurance premium increases,” Mr Taylor said.

“Taken together, that’s a 7.6 percent cost impact, which is unsustainable for aged care providers. This is death by a thousand cuts. It is unrealistic to expect current levels of funding will be sufficient to maintain and improve the quality of life for those in care as well as provide for pay increases to hard-working caregivers,” he said.

The National Government has offered a 1 percent funding increase for inflationary costs, inadequate for aged residential care operators to pay any increase to caregivers this year. Providers will struggle to maintain the quality of life for the 35,000 elderly in care.

“This is neither an acceptable outcome for caregivers nor the elderly they look after. It does not reflect the valuable work caregivers undertake, nor respect the elderly in care,” Mr Taylor said.

New Zealand has gone through some difficult economic times, but now we have Government surpluses. Therefore, the time is now right to prioritise funding for the elderly and their caregivers. As Prime Minister John Key said in May 2012, “It’s one of those things we would love to do if we had more cash and as the country moves back into surplus” http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/no-more-money-aged-care-workers-says-key-4902464/video.

Aged care operators are also not signing the contract as they have not been given any guarantees on future costs associated with the Governments only quality initiative in the sector called ‘interRAI’, which is a comprehensive assessment tool that supports better care planning, delivery and policy development. At first adoption was voluntary but then the Minister of Health made it mandatory.

This heavy-handed approach has caused considerable difficulty in the sector, considering the cost of training Registered Nurses has only been partially covered. Providers are becoming increasingly concerned about future costs associated with the use of interRAI.

Mr Taylor said that aged care providers are reluctant to sign any agreement unless all future costs are covered by the Government.

The aged residential care sector needs an increase of 7.6 percent, or $76 million, to even allow it to maintain the status quo. The reality is that every dollar that is eroded by government policies, inflation and unmet interRAI costs is one dollar less that can be spent maximising the quality of life for the elderly in care and one dollar less for caregiver wages, the Association says.

While $76 million is a lot for aged care operators, in terms of the $14.5 billion health care budget it is only 0.53%.

“Now is the time to prioritise both the elderly and their caregivers by increasing aged residential care funding before the aged care tsunami strikes this country,” Mr Taylor said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news