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Aged Care Sector Anticipates Policy Promises

Aged Care Sector Anticipates Policy Promises

Aged residential care providers are anticipating policy promises to be announced at their annual conference, which will be opened by the NZ First Leader, the Rt Hon Winston Peters, at 1:45pm today.

The HealthCare Providers NZ Conference, Balancing Expectations, is being held at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland, and brings together hundreds of providers from across the aged care sector, as well as policy makers, lobbyists and funders.

HealthCare Providers New Zealand CEO Martin Taylor said that he was expecting policy promises from Labour, National and NZ First to be unveiled at the Conference.

“This is a watershed year for aged care in New Zealand. Consumers, providers and funders all have big expectations for the future of this industry, and the public of New Zealand want to know what political parties have planned for aged care, no matter who makes up the next Government”, said Taylor.

The first four policy commitments HCPNZ have asked each party to make are:

• Will you protect the Elderly in Care’s Standard of living?

Will you protect the standard of living of the elderly in care from inflation, i.e., will your party ensure that the subsidy paid to the elderly in care is automatically indexed to CPI, or will you make DHBs automatically pass on the full Future Funding Track they receive for these services ?

• Will you protect the Elderly’s Future Access to Care?

Will you protect the elderly’s future access to care, i.e., will you support a repeat of the 2001 costing model to ensure the living standards of the elderly in care are protected and do you agree to establishing the number of beds needed in future to ensure the elderly can access aged care if they need it?

• Will you fund equal pay rates between Aged Care Nurses and Government Nurses?

Will you fund equal pay rates between aged care nurses and government nurses, i.e., will you increase the elderly aged care entitlement by 2% each year for three years to compensate the sector for the impact of the 2008 DHB and NZNO MECA?

• Will you commit to the establishment of a specific Aged Care Industry Training Organisation (ITO)?

Will you commit to the establishment of an aged care specific Industry training organisation to promote the development of training in the sector?

The Conference also features a head-on debate between Minister of Health David Cunliffe and his aspiring successor, National health spokesperson Tony Ryall.

Taylor said that the Conference brings together a range of aged care experts from over the globe in order to help create informed debate about issues facing the sector.

“We hope that our conference creates an environment where expectations for aged care are openly discussed and better understood. This needs to happen in order to build a secure future for our industry”.

ENDS

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