With a Royal Commission called into the aged-care sector and a national program on ABC Four Corners based on thousands of negative reports about patient care and staff numbers, training, wages and government oversight in the residential sector, Labor’s federal Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health Julie Collins asks whether older Australians will trust PM Scott Morrison and his government to fix the problems in aged care now.
SCOTT MORRISON IS the architect of huge cuts to residential aged care that have smashed the quality of care being delivered across the country. In just his first year as Treasurer, Morrison cut almost $2 billion from the care of older Australians.
One of his first acts as Treasurer was to slash almost $500 million from aged care funding in 2015.
He followed this with an even bigger cut of $1.2 billion from aged care funding in the 2016 Budget. On Morrison’s watch the aged care budget has been used as an ATM to try and prop up the Budget.
The Liberals plan to shuffle some money around and give back just $16 million – would be laughable if the situation wasn’t so serious. The Government has sat on the report that recommended this legislation for almost a year. This has taken far too long.
The release of the latest data on the home care package waitlist revealed close to 108,000 older Australians are waiting for care.
The aged-care workforce is expected to increase by 300 percent in the next 30 years, but the Liberals are yet to respond to its own report into how to prepare for this growth.
[Nevertheless] Labor recognises that everyday around the country, the majority of older Australians are treated with care and respect at residential aged-care facilities.