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Auckland DHBs Signal Looming Crisis in Aged Care

Press Release from HealthCare Providers NZ Inc

Auckland DHBs Signal Looming Crisis in Aged Care

The DHBs in the Auckland region have signaled they require an extra $281 million over the next five years for aged care services otherwise they will not be able to meet the demands of an ageing population.

Between 2006 and 2011 the DHBs in the Auckland region will be have an additional 23,460 people over 65 in their area, of which 8%, or 1852 will require aged residential care services.

“The most worrying thing about this admission is that it underestimates the amount of extra money needed. Based on our research the Auckland region will need another 1852 aged care beds in the next five years, which require a capital investment of about $277 million and an on-going baseline increase of between $75 – 130 million pῥr year, said Martin Taylor CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

“The next government is going to inherit an aged care sector that cannot expand fast enough to ensure a good quality of life for those elderly who need care. This is because the current funding is too low to encourage new investment and there is no automatic inflation adjustment”.

This situation underlines why it is so important for strategic planning to be undertaken in the aged care sector to establish future demand and supply targets to ensure the elderly get the care they need, when and where they need it. Unfortunately, no strategic planning work on aged care is currently underway at the Ministry of Health (see written parliamentary question 5639).

“This admission of the three DHBs in Auckland should be a warning call to all political parties that there is problem and they must take a strategic approach to planning for the future provision of aged care.”

“We all know the demand for elderly services is growing as the aged demographic grows. This means we need to take a strategic approach to how we are going to provide the care the elderly need when they need it.”

“If this is not done now, the public of New Zealand will be struck with a crisis in the aged care sector by 2011,” Mr Taylor said.


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