Aged care overlooked – lobby group

Call to boost aged care

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services is challenging the Government to sufficiently fund rest homes and hospitals of elderly people, and says a 3 percent funding increase is too little too late.

The Council is challenging the Government to a level of equity with the 20 percent increase in wages for registered nurses in district health boards under a multi-employment agreement with the New Zealand Nurses Organization.

Vice-President Gillian Bremner says a 3 percent increase of funding is insufficient to match the increase for the district health boards. This is on top of long term chronic under funding.

Mrs Bremner says in aged residential care more than 2000 rest home beds operated by religious and welfare organizations have been lost or are up for sale.

She says that Christian social service organizations with long traditions of care and commitment to the needs of poor and vulnerable face difficult decisions about continuing to provide services when the prices they are paid for by Government in no way reflect the realities of the costs of operating those services.

Meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Michael Cullen, Minster of Health Annette King and Minister for Senior Citizens Ruth Dyson in November have been followed up with a request for a meeting with Dr Cullen this year.

By Peter Veugelaers.

Published 2005, Challenge Weekly

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