Budget 2013: $70 million extra for aged care and dementia

  • Jo Goodhew
  • Tony Ryall
Budget 2013 Health

Aged care and dementia services will benefit from an extra $70 million over the next four years, Health Minister Tony Ryall and Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew say.

“The Government continues to support older New Zealanders to be healthier and independent in their own homes or in aged care,” Mr Ryall says. “And we are putting extra money into funding better awareness, early detection and care of dementia.”

Budget 2013 is providing:

  • $20 million additional funding over four years for home support services to help more older New Zealanders stay in their homes longer
  • $1.2 million over three years for dementia related training for health care workers
  • $2 million over three years to support dementia awareness programmes and assistance for clinical teams in early detection of dementia
  • $12 million increase in funding for dementia bed subsidies over four years, to encourage further investment in dementia beds
  • $1.5 million contribution to costs for training aged care staff in the use of the interRAI assessment tool being rolled out to aged care facilities.
  • In addition district health boards have been funded to invest an additional $33.2 million on aged residential care subsidies over four years.

“Sadly, New Zealand faces a growing tide of dementia as people live much longer. Whether it's a family member, a friend or even personally, dementia will touch all our families in some way,” Mr Ryall says.

”Dementia is increasing at around 4 per cent a year – and over a third of people in their nineties have dementia. It is projected that 150,000 New Zealanders will have dementia by 2050.”

“The Government has made addressing dementia a priority – by putting nearly $32 million extra into dementia services in the past two budgets,” Mrs Goodhew, who is also Minister for Senior Citizens says.

“We’ve increased the number of dementia care beds across the country by 24 per cent since 2008.”

“Despite continuing tight times, our public health services are in a much stronger position compared to four years ago. That’s because we’ve focused strongly on better quality and faster services through prudent financial management,” Mr Ryall says.

“We are now in a position to make these significant announcements to address aged care and dementia,” Mrs Goodhew says.