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Funding Increase Small Step In Right Direction

21 December 2004

Funding Increase Small Step In Right Direction

The granting of $18 million extra to district health boards to help ease immediate funding pressures is a small step in the right direction says New Zealand First health spokesperson for the elderly Barbara Stewart.

“Boards can now offer a three percent increase in aged-care contracts, rather than the derisory one percent previously offered.

“However this funding, announced before Christmas to make the most of the feel-good factor, should not be regarded as anything other than an interim measure by the Government to address the problem of under-funded aged care,” said Mrs Stewart.

“The Holidays Act and the pay increase for nurses will both impact sharply on a sector which is already in dire straits.

“The announcement that the Health Ministry has set up yet another working party should also be treated with a degree of scepticism. It’s just another way of delaying making hard decisions.

“The elderly are entitled to better care than they are currently receiving and the Government has no excuse for not providing it,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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