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More bad news for aged-care sector

Published: Wed 15 Nov 2006 04:50 PM
More bad news for aged-care sector
The Ministry of Health does not measure whether or not the funding it provides matches the cost to the sector of providing aged-care services, says National’s Associate Health spokeswoman (Aged Care), Jo Goodhew.
Mrs Goodhew asked Ministry officials at Parliament’s Health Select Committee today if they measure how much specialised care is required by people in residential care now, compared to five years ago.
“Ministry officials had no good news for the aged-care sector,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“They acknowledged that the amount of care and the associated cost of providing that care have increased, but the Ministry is not measuring whether or not its funding accommodates the increased costs and demands.
“I was extremely disappointed to hear that though the Ministry funds via DHBs the care of elderly people, it is reluctant to measure whether or not its funding matches the cost of actually providing care.
“Ministry officials also told the committee that the ASPIRE trial results, including financial details, ‘need more work’.”
ASPIRE (Assessment of Services Promoting Independence and Recovery in Elders) is a trial of comprehensive home-based support services in a restorative model of care.
“Officials admitted that though the ASPIRE projects may be excellent examples of the way to implement the Ageing in Place strategy, the required workforce to implement such projects is years away.
“At least the Ministry has admitted the dire state of the home-based care workforce. With high turnover rates and low morale, it is high time the Government acknowledged the need to address this issue urgently,” says Mrs Goodhew.
Ends

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