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Extra funding wanted to help Kiwis in care die in comfort

Rest and residential homes are calling for extra Government funding to help deal with increasing numbers of New Zealanders who die in their care.

Around 10,000 Kiwis die each year in residential care, more than in hospitals, and some say they are struggling without ring-fenced funding for end of life care.

Most are paid around $180 a night for palliative patients, the same for rest home hospital patients, but they say that doesn't cover the complex needs of those dying or those of their families.

"These guys who are palliative deserve one-on-one care for the last few days of their life," says Daniel Fearon of Harbourview Rest Home.

Rest homes are Government-funded for four types of patients – rest home, hospital, dementia and psycho-geriatric – but not specifically palliative.

The Health Ministry says it is reviewing nationwide palliative care services right now, and will be making recommendations by the end of year.

It says last year's budget allocated an extra $76m to support the terminally ill.

"DHBs are doing some good work in some areas, but it's patchy and we need a national approach," says Simon Wallace of the NZ Aged Care Association.

Around 10,000 New Zealanders die in residential care a year, and some providers say they are struggling to provide the special services required. Source: 1 NEWS


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