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Shrinking Scottish LTC market may see focus shift to quality

The long-term care market in Scotland will dry up if the Scottish Assembly goes ahead with plans to extend funding to cover personal care, predicts Age Concern Scotland.

But product providers disagree, saying people will still face accommodation costs.

They say the level of benefit of LTC coverage might be reduced but there would still be a need to make provision.

The debate over who should pay for LTC costs has resurfaced in Scotland as the Government-led health and community care committee is expected to recommend the assembly should pay for personal as well as nursing care.

Henry McLeish, the new first minister of the assembly, said recently funding would be extended following the next election in 2002. He then app eared to retract his statements as it would differ from the Westminster policy.

Age Concern Scotland ass istant director Linda Dunion says: “There would be no market for long-term care in Scotland because there would be very little left to cover.”

NU long-term care strategy manager Sandy Johnston says: “I believe if people have a better perception as to the level of contribution the Government is prepared to cover, they will have a better idea as to what their costs will be. It will come down to the quality of the fac ility they choose.”

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