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Aged Care inquiry more urgent than ever

18 December 2009
Media Statement

Aged Care inquiry more urgent than ever

Revelations today that ill elderly people are being turned away from rest homes because of the cost of care provides yet more evidence that the sector desperately needs an overhaul, Labour’s Aged Care spokesperson Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said.

A rest home manager told the Press newspaper that he knew of several cases of rest homes declining places for elderly people with health issues due to fears of losing money.

“It is shocking to read that elderly people are being treated in such a shabby manner. People at this stage of their lives are among the most vulnerable in our communities and deserve to know that they will not be discriminated against because of their age,” Winnie Laban said.

“The issue is further proof that the whole aged care sector needs to be looked at afresh – from the ground up. So far the Government has made noises about a ‘review’ – but that sounds like tinkering and is not nearly enough.

“We are fast approaching a crisis in care for the elderly, which will only be made much worse by our ageing population. New Zealand needs to have an open and frank discussion about how we can meet this growing demand and to ensure our elderly are treated in a fair and dignified way.

“I again call on the Government to support my proposal for an inquiry into the quality of health care for older people.

“The inquiry would focus 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.

"It is urgently needed,” Winnie Laban said.

ENDS

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