In a stark wake-up call to New Zealand policymakers, the ‘Domino Effect’ campaign has been launched this week, shedding light on the dire state of New Zealand’s aged care sector and the urgent need for sustainable funding to avert a looming crisis.
There are parallels with Australia’s own aged care funding crisis and learnings the local sector advocates may see value in replicating.
The campaign by the NZ Aged Care Association cites immediate issues and important outcomes if action isn’t taken. Ref: dominoeffect.co.nz
The campaign, a collaborative effort between Chemistry, an independent brand response agency, and Anthem PR agency, aims to expose the concerning consequences of the government’s funding neglect on the ageing population and their families. While a recent cash injection provided some relief by enabling fair wages for nurses, the NZ sector remains plagued by a flawed and insufficient long-term funding approach.
Liz Robinson, spokesperson for the Aged Care Association, said, “With the number of Kiwis aged 80+ set to triple by 2040 and resources to support them declining, we’re going to see an increase in overworked doctors and nurses, older Kiwis with nowhere to go, parents having to care for their parents at home, and longer wait times in public hospitals.”
The central issue lies in the government’s annual calculation of required funding for each aged care facility, followed by a consistent pattern of underfunding. This chronic underinvestment has culminated in the critical situation faced by the sector today, and if left unaddressed, the consequences are predicted to be even more dire.
The campaign, set to run across various media channels including TV, digital, social, and radio, is not just a call for action but a plea for the government to recognise the impending crisis and take immediate steps to implement a sustainable funding model.
Monique Bedford, senior business manager at Chemistry, expressed the collective hope that the campaign would generate enough pressure on the government to prioritize the sector and usher in a more viable funding system. “We’re hoping to mount pressure on the Government so they prioritize the sector and adopt a more sustainable funding model, bringing about meaningful change for the future of all Kiwis,” she said.
As the campaign gains momentum, the spotlight is now on the government’s response.