October 6, 2008

The Plight of Our Homecare Workers

The Health Ministry, and half our district health boards, are refusing to acknowledge inadequate wages for caregivers in the community health homecare sector.

These many thousands of selfless contributors who look after tens of thousands of elderly people daily receive close to the minimum wage, less, in fact, than hospital kitchen hands. Collectively, however, they prevent the New Zealand hospital sector collapsing.

I suspect that, in collusion with Treasury, the ministry is trying to lead New Zealand to a situation where elderly people pay for all, or part of their own home and non- hospital care, as happens in other countries.

Ministry and too many district health board bureaucrats are, I'm afraid, incompetent and devoid of vision.

Such backdoor deviousness is the only explanation I can find for this deliberate neglect of what must, for the country's sake, become an essential area of service delivery.



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