Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Health Minister Tony Ryalls better, sooner, more convenient healthcare has seen home help for some of New Zealands most vulnerable slashed to life-threatening levels, Labours Health spokesperson Annette King says.Annette
13 March 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Ryall Needs To Get Real About Reality Of Home ‘Care’ Cuts
Health Minister Tony Ryall’s ‘better, sooner, more convenient’ healthcare has seen home help for some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable slashed to life-threatening levels, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“Mr Ryall can talk all he likes about the extra money he is throwing at district health boards. And he can talk all he likes about elective surgery targets.
“Today in Parliament he bragged about $60 million in extra funding handed over to the Hawkes Bay District Health Board.
“That funding, however, appears not to have trickled down to those who most need it. Take for instance the 86-year-old pensioner who, after being discharged from hospital (where she was treated for pneumonia and heart failure) had her home help cut to just an hour a week.
“And hers is not an isolated case. Some carers in the Hawke’s Bay are so concerned about the effects of the reduced hours on their elderly clients they are volunteering their own time to help out.
“Mr Ryall’s not so happy to talk about that. Yet he was the one who signed off the Board’s annual plan which included proposals to ‘modify’ both the level and standard of some services.
“Tony Ryall’s ‘better, sooner, more convenient’ healthcare initiative was supposed to provide more personalised primary health care services, closer to home, thus reducing costs to hospitals.
“Cutting home help to levels which put people’s lives at risk is not only completely inconsistent with that, it is vicious and wrong.”