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Aged care report a wakeup call says union

15 October 2010

for immediate release

Aged care report a wakeup call says union

The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed the release of a new report identifying the gaps in the provision of aged care services.

The report released today by the Labour and Green task force drew from a wide range of industry sources including union members, some of whom spoke to the task force under condition of anonymity.

SFWU National Secretary John Ryall says the report sends a clear message to Government.

"This is the second report this year to send a clear message to the government.

"Three months ago the Grant Thornton report identified the cold clinical costs in dollar terms that are needed to fund the sector properly.

"While the Grant Thornton report did the numbers, this report puts a human face to the very real and immediate problems facing the sector.

"Now the Labour/Green report shows the cost in terms of real people."

John Ryall says senior delegates were often in tears as they told the MPs about the lack of time and the lack of care that tight margins and underfunding produces.

"The underfunding prevents older New Zealanders from having the care and attention they deserve. One of the strongest messages is that we need to improve staffing levels, support greater staff training and education and put an end to the pitiful wages paid in the sector."

John Ryall says despite the increasing dominance of large corporate aged care providers, the sector will only deliver the best care when the funding model fronts up with the dollars needed to improve staffing levels and staff pay and conditions.

"This is a wakeup call. The Minister of Health now has the information he needs to. But does he have the courage to take action?"

ENDS

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