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DHBs Withhold Promised Funding To Aged Care

Aged Residential Care Provider Representative Coalition

DHBs Withhold Promised Funding To Aged Residential Care Providers

District Health Boards have refused to pass on the bulk of $82 million allocated to the aged residential care sector in this year’s Budget, and instead will only pay out $33 million.

In May DHBs were given a $71 million funding boost by the Hon Pete Hodgson for the ‘contracted providers of aged residential care services’, plus another $11 million to compensate aged care providers for the costs of the 2003 Holidays Act.

“This increase means that providers will not be able to increase wages to caregivers or Nurses and the sector will continue to lose staff to DHB Hospitals who are funded to pay higher wages”, says Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

Associated with the offer is a raft of contractual changes that DHBs refuse to discuss further with provider representatives.

“DHBs have said to get the funding increase you have to accept the contractual changes – it’s a take it or leave it offer”.

DHBs have also said that providers must agree to the contractual conditions by 5 December or they will lose five months of back pay.

“We initiated contract review talks in June for an inflation increase for the 2004/05 year, and an increase to address historical under funding. Now after five weeks of no communication DHBs have come back with a ‘take it or leave it offer’ and refuse to negotiate further on a raft of additional contract clauses. DHBs are treating the review process with contempt - this is not good faith bargaining” Mr Taylor said.

Provider representatives have asked DHBs to roll over all the outstanding clause changes into the next contract review, or to extend the 5th December deadline for one month.

“This will give us time to evaluate the real impact of the proposed changes and consult with our members” Mr Taylor said.

“All we want is for our providers, employees and the elderly of New Zealand to get a fair deal”, Mr Taylor said.

The Provider Representative Coalition collectively represents almost all private hospitals and rest homes in New Zealand. The Group comprises: HealthCare Providers NZ, the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services, and Association Residential Care Homes.

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