New Zealand Labour Party

Aged care needs urgent attention

The Government must stop neglecting older New Zealanders and the people who care for them and give urgent attention to a sector that is in dire straits, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“The lead author of the New Zealand Aged Care Workforce Survey, Dr Katherine Ravenswood, says low pay, high workloads, an ageing workforce and an increasing demand for aged care add up to a concerning picture for the sector.

“These have long been issues for those providing care to the elderly, yet in seven years of a National-led Government nothing has been done to improve the situation.

“The problems affect two of our most vulnerable groups of citizens – the elderly and low-wage workers. They will only become more acute with our ageing population.

 “Turning a blind eye won’t make them go away.

 “Labour believes the Government must urgently start work on paying these aged care nurses and caregivers as much as those working in hospitals. This can only happen if it takes the lead and works with all stakeholders on a plan to achieve pay parity.

“The situation in aged care is a timely reminder that simply devolving government responsibilities to non-government and for-profit organisations without providing the necessary resources is a recipe for disaster,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.