BUDGET REACTION: FAILURE TO TACKLE KEY ISSUES FOR AGED CARE RESIDENTS – NO MANDATED STAFF RATIOS
A leading Australian elder care lawyer from Hunter based firm, Catherine Henry Lawyers, says the Federal budget has not tackled the key issues to benefit aged care residents.
Catherine Henry says while the announcement of an additional 14,000 high-level home care support packages over the next four years was welcome, it does nothing to help ensure the more than 170,000 Australians living in aged care facilities get appropriate care.
Ms Henry says the Federal Government needs to increase regulation of aged care accommodation and mandate staff to patient ratios to tackle the woefully inadequate staffing arrangements that operate in the sector.
“No government in the past 20 years has been prepared to tackle the crisis affecting the aged-care sector and this continues following last night’s Budget,” Ms Henry says.
“There have been countless inquiries and reviews, but none have focused on clinical standards. The Federal Opposition has long been silent on the standards of care in aged-care accommodation too.”
“Aged care accommodation can’t be left to the free market for big end of town investors to reap huge profits leaving the vulnerable frail aged with substandard care in many facilities across the country.”
In his budget speech the Treasurer The Hon Scott Morrison said ‘Just because you are getting older does not mean you should have to surrender your dignity or your choices’.
Ms Henry says people are surrendering their dignity every day and feel they have no choice but to accept sub-standard care because of a lack of staffing, a proper complaints handling system and public accountability and sanctions for aged care operators who fail to provide proper care.
She says the Government’s aged-care policy announcement made last month also falls significantly short of what’s required to address the crisis in the sector.
“Merging three regulatory agencies that have been regarded as ineffective into one isn’t the solution.”
Media information: Catherine Henry on 0417292700 or Craig Eardley on 0437477493
More information from Catherine Henry on this topic: