Grey Power gets to hear election promises
Grey Power Central Otago members may beat a path to NationalMP Jacqui Deans’ door if her party gets re-elected this month, to hold her to the election promise that the Government will invest more into their health care.
At a forum to meet Waitaki electoral candidates at Alexandra on Monday hosted by Grey Power, some members expressed their concerns about health sector cuts.
Deans said that with New Zealand’s ageing population, the Government had invested $1.55 billion into care of the elderly over the last six years, since its election in 2008.
Last week, National announced it would pump a further $40 million into this area, with the extra funds to increase rest-home bed subsidies by 5 per cent from October 1, and provide further support for dementia care.
She also said new clinical testing would be made available to assess the needs of elderly, and she urged people to contact her if they knew of ‘‘someone who needed help’’.
As well as increasing elective surgeries, Deans said National had ear-marked an additional $50 million to go into pain management and to increase mobility and independence. ‘‘Green Prescriptions’’, which were subsidised by the government, would also help f prevent health problems, she said.
As a grandmother approaching superannuation age, Labour candidate Glenda Alexander said she felt sympathy for older people ‘‘trying to survive’’ because of high heating and living costs, therefore health and aged care were a strong party focus.
A cut in the allocation of hours for aged-care workers, their low wages and work-load was of concern to many Grey Power members, a problem that ‘‘had no magic answer’’, but warranted a review, Conservative party member Donald Aubrey said
‘‘It makes plain economic sense to keep elderly people at home for as long as they can.’’ Greens candidate Sue Coutts said this was also a party mandate ‘‘to provide a high level of home support’’ and to stop the ‘‘casualisation’’ of aged-care workers, who were dipping into their own pockets, for instance using their own cars and resources, to help the elderly.
Grey Power members were reminded that while the election day was on Saturday September 20, voting officially started today.
Democrats for Social Credit, Hessel Van
National, Jacqui Deans
Conservative, Donald Aubrey
Greens, Sue Coutts