24 May 2012

$40m boost to prepare for 'tsunami' of dementia

10:38 pm on 24 May 2012

The Minister of Health says extra funding for dementia will help services prepare for growing demand in future as the population ages.

Tony Ryall has announced in Thursday's Budget that $40 million will go towards increased dementia services over the next four years.

Health Minister Tony Ryall.

Health Minister Tony Ryall. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

Aged care providers represented by the Aged Care Association say it is welcome news which will raise the daily government subsidy rate for beds in dementia care by 5.8%.

Mr Ryall told Radio New Zealand on Thursday that the 2012 Budget is tight and focused on things that matter most, such as dementia.

"I suspect that the next 10 years, ministers of health will be worrying more about dealing with the tsunami of people with dementia than any other issue.

"That's the reason why this is the second year of an investment signal by our government that we want aged residential care expanding services for people in dementia."

Tony Ryall says health spending in the coming year is expected to rise by about 4%.