Like anyone who watched last night’s Four Corners program, I was absolutely appalled by the lack of care shown for some of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens. They are our elders.
I am deeply saddened by the stories – and there can be no excuse for such practices.
They have highlighted the importance of the reform agenda we are implementing to increase the regulatory oversight of Australia’s aged care sector.
We have announced a Royal Commission into the aged care sector – and it will provide the Government with important recommendations.
As the Prime Minister has said, it will look at the aged sector as a whole – without bias or prejudice. It will make findings on the evidence, and as a Government, and a Parliament, it will be our job to act on these findings together.
As the Prime Minister has also said, I think we have to prepare ourselves for the Royal Commission to uncover some pretty bruising information about the way our loved ones have been mistreated.
But in the meantime, we are going to continue implementing our important reform agenda.
- We’re establishing a new, independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission with more than $300 million to police the sector – providing a one-stop shop for all aged care consumers, their carers and loved ones on quality of care and services;
- We’ve implemented changes so aged care providers no longer get notice before government regulators visit to audit their services and facilities;
- We’re introducing new Aged Care Quality Standards that clearly spell out what consumers can expect from aged care services – supported by a new charter of rights; and
- We’re continuing to support advocacy services for senior Australians and address elder abuse in aged care with $31.7 million being provided to the Older Persons Advocacy Network to 2020.
Facilities not providing the care we expect no longer have anywhere to hide – and we have the option to shut down operators not doing the right thing.
The Government’s commitment to safe, quality, compassionate, flexible and affordable aged care services for our senior Australians is absolute.
I would ask that anyone with concerns about staffing levels or quality and safety of care must immediately report these matters to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800 550 552. Complaints can be made completely anonymously.
Funding for aged care is at record levels. In 2017-18, alone, aged care spending is estimated to reach $18.6 billion. Over the next five years funding will grow by $5 billion to $23.6 billion.
Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.
/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s). View in full here.