INDEPENDENT NEWS

Geriatric Hospital Cuts Target Vulnerable NZers

Published: Thu 12 Jul 2001 03:11 PM
Geriatric Hospital Cuts Target Vulnerable New Zealanders
Green Party Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley is calling on the Government to rethink its decision to slash $8 million off geriatric hospital funding.
"If the Minister of Health stands by her Ministry's plan to take away $8 million from these hospitals, then she must be prepared to assure the public that no elderly patients will suffer neglect or a reduced standard of care as a result," said Ms Kedgley.
"I doubt very much she will give that assurance, because funding cuts of this magnitude will inevitably result in a lowering of quality of care for some of our most vulnerable older people, especially as geriatric hospitals are already struggling due to serious under-funding.
Ms Kedgley said the Government should open its ears to the outpouring of shock and dismay today from providers of long-term hospital care for geriatrics, predicting an inevitable reduction in care standards and forced hospital closures.
"These cuts are clear evidence that the health sector is significantly under-funded, and shows how the Government's ability to provide for some of the most vulnerable New Zealanders is being drained by the $600 million set aside for superannuation in the budget.
"Older people requiring long term hospital care in hospitals are amongst the most vulnerable people in New Zealand and we should be treating them with respect and compassion, not trying to scrimp on their care," said Ms Kedgley.
Ends

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