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National launches aged care discussion paper

John Key MP
National Party Leader

5 September 2007

National launches aged care discussion paper

National Party Leader John Key has today launched his party’s aged care discussion document called ‘Choice Not Chance for Older New Zealanders’.

“The discussion paper proposes some actions to address concerns in the aged care sector, and National welcomes feedback.”

Mr Key focused on some of the paper’s proposals in a speech to the Health Care Providers Conference in Rotorua today. These include:

- Looking at improved multi-year funding agreements with providers which incorporate an agreed increase in funding each year.

- Establishing a sector-specific Industry Training Organisation to oversee independent providers of training. Caregivers and nurses should have recognisable career paths and training opportunities.

- Require DHBs to contract for dedicated respite residential-care beds. Having dedicated beds means that respite care is always available and can be planned in advance, rather than being slotted in on an ad-hoc basis.

“Talking to older people has revealed that what is fundamentally important to them is to have genuine choices about how and where they live as they age. They want to be able to choose between options that promote and protect their independence.

“National is committed to supporting New Zealanders in the decisions they make about their care. The discussion document is a solid piece of work, and I look forward to the feedback.”

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In the speech, Mr Key also targeted the issue of elder abuse, and called for community vigilance.

“In the same way we are all being urged to look out for the welfare of children in our neighbourhood, and to report anything we think is suspicious or on which we need reassurance, so too should we be looking out for vulnerable older people.

“I am not talking about spying on your neighbours, I am talking about getting to know them, especially if they include an older person living alone.”

ENDS

The paper is available on the National Party website at: www.national.org.nz

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