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Labour plans for a plan on aged care

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman
& Jo Goodhew MP Associate Health Spokeswoman

21 October 2008

Labour plans for a plan on aged care

"Health Minister David Cunliffe's guilt ridden promise of a funding boost for aged care will be seen for exactly what it is - a cynical pre-election catch-up wrapped in more bureaucracy," says National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall.

"National has been rolling out a costed and comprehensive plan to bring better, sooner, more convenient healthcare to New Zealanders. David Cunliffe has spent his time playing catch-up.

"It took him five hours yesterday to throw together some policies, like the previously pinched spot checks for rest homes, and present them as Labour's reform of aged care.

"And this is more evidence of how Mr Cunliffe has been captured by his army of bureaucrats. Kiwis will be fascinated to hear that he's planning a 'staircased approach to workforce development that will see a five-year plan leading to safer staffing levels. We will establish a Ministerial Aged Residential Care Action group to oversee this'.

"In plain English, that's a plan for a plan overseen by planners."

Associate Health spokeswoman Jo Goodhew says National yesterday released more elements from its comprehensive health policies, which included a commitment to provide more respite relief for carers of aged people and to improve the quality of supervision and nursing in rest homes, through an additional $18 million a year to help rest homes support and retain nursing staff.

National has previously undertaken to inflation-proof aged-care subsidies and to work with providers and consumer groups to meet the future demand for aged-care services and beds.

"National has a thoughtful plan for the entire health sector that will see Kiwis getting better, sooner, more convenient healthcare. Labour appears to have an agenda that involves ad hoc announcements to disguise the guilt of nine years of failure."


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