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10,000 New Zealanders sign Aged Care petition

Published: Thu 21 Nov 2002 09:06 AM
10,000 New Zealanders sign Aged Care petition
Parliament’s Health Select Committee was told today of the perilous financial state many rest home operators are in, says National’s Health spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott.
“10,000 New Zealanders have signed the petition calling for urgent recognition of the dire plight facing rest homes. There have been no changes in geriatric hospital fees since 1997, yet operating costs have constantly gone up.
“For Kemp House in Porirua, overall costs have gone up 10% in that period but with only a 0.7% increase in income.
“The Committee was told that rest homes have had to cut staff, cut care, close doors, or sell.
“Patients have to be sicker to get care and are often assessed as needing rest home when they need hospital care. Last week a patient died before they were reassessed to get the level of care they needed.
“Rest homes are struggling for breath as aged care funding is frozen, while at the same time the Government is still promising $120 to $200 million to remove asset testing.
“Where is the sense in making very expensive political promises when on the ground individual care is suffering and should be a greater priority,” said Dr Scott.

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