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Aged Care Inquiry shunted aside again

9 December 2009
Media Statement

Aged Care Inquiry shunted aside again

An inquiry into aged care, proposed by Labour MP Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, was voted down by Government members sitting on the Health Select Committee for the third time today.

"It amazes me that with the approaching crisis in care for the elderly, which will only be magnified by our ageing population, the Government is happy to sit on its hands and do nothing," Winnie Laban said.

“The Inquiry I proposed into the quality of health care for older people would have focused on whether the health needs of older people are being properly addressed in rest homes, long term hospital level care, and through home-based or community support services.

"The recent closure of a Palmerston North rest home due to the poor quality of care is just the latest indication of the problems that lie just under the surface,

“Government cost cutting and the resultant drop in standards are a real slap in the face for our elderly family members, friends and neighbours who have spent a working lifetime paying taxes and who deserve good quality care as they get older.

"There are currently around 28,000 older New Zealanders living in aged residential care and a further 60,000 older people receive home support services. That number will increase greatly over the next few years.

"Everyone I have spoken to on this issue, including health professionals, care providers, elderly people and family members, agree that an inquiry into the state and quality of aged care in this country is urgently needed.

“Although the Government has again knocked back my inquiry I will continue to push for an important investigation into the state of the aged health care sector,” Winnie Laban said.

ENDS

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