INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Ensures Miserable Xmas For Elderly Couple

Published: Sun 23 Dec 2007 12:46 AM
Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Disability Issues Spokesman
Labour ensures miserable Xmas for elderly couple
National Party Disability Issues spokesman Paul Hutchison says the Labour Government could have delivered a sick, elderly Takanini couple the best Christmas present they could wish for, but it has refused to.
Dr Hutchison is referring to the case of Barbara and Arthur Broome, who were promised a lift for their home in November 2006.
"Barbara Broom has multiple sclerosis and lives upstairs; her husband, Alan, has terminal cancer and came back from a rest home to live with his wheelchair-bound wife so they could be together. He lives downstairs because of his condition.
"On Christmas Day, this couple will have waited 400 days for the Government to fulfil its promise of a lift in their home.
"The president of the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Auckland, Neil Woodhams, says this is the worst example of a number of cases he's seen where people with disabilities caused by chronic illness are put at significant disadvantage compared with people who are disabled through accident.
"It is inconceivable how badly the Ministry of Health and Access Able - the provider of disability aids - have managed this case. There is clearly deep-seated dysfunction in both organisations. The Labour Government always goes on about 'ageing in place'. But it has dashed the hopes of the Broomes."
Dr Hutchison has written to Health Minister David Cunliffe asking him to take urgent action.
"This couple deserves to live in their own home together and the Ministry should have kept its promise."
ENDS

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