Thousands more to lose home-help

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Thousands of older New Zealanders look set to lose home support thanks to a government hell-bent on putting cost-cutting above quality care, says Labour’s spokesperson for Aged Care Steve Chadwick.Steve Chadwick
Associate Health (Aged Care) Spokesperson

5 October 2011

Thousands more to lose home-help

Thousands of older New Zealanders look set to lose home support thanks to a government hell-bent on putting cost-cutting above quality care, says Labour’s spokesperson for Aged Care Steve Chadwick.

“Capital and Coast District Health Board’s decision to slash $2million from its home-based care services budget is adding insult to injury for some of our most vulnerable older people.

“While CEO Mary Bonner might be promising there will not be a reduction in current services, this is a significant cut and one that will undoubtedly affect the quality and provision of care,” Steve Chadwick said.

“Chairman of Healthcare New Zealand Ken Douglas has already signaled the Board’s decision will have a negative impact on high-need elderly people in the region.

“In 2010 the Board changed the eligibility criteria so only those in the region with a community services card could receive support.

“Now we’re seeing the axe being swung again, with funding being slashed from $13 million to $11 million. That’s $4 million since 2010, or a 30 per cent cut in services, in total under National’s watch.

“The Government’s decision to oversee these cuts is illogical and unsustainable. Reduce their home help and these people will end up in residential care sooner, ultimately costing DHBs more in the long-term.

“The Minister told the House last week that the Government had invested more money in home-based support services. That is simply not true.

“And it is yet another example of short-sighted planning at the expense of older New Zealanders, who in many cases have the ability and desire to stay in their own homes with some assistance,” Steve Chadwick said.

ENDS

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