Aged Care Can’t Wait

The NSWNA is piling the pressure on the Federal Government to ensure that 2012 is the year of the Aged Care Budget.

A postcard campaign to the Prime Minister and visits to MPs urging them to sign a pledge are part of a new push to keep aged care on the Federal Government’s agenda.

The next stage of the national Because we care campaign is determined to see 2012 as the year of the Aged Care Budget, and the ANF is asking for an initial injection of $494 million to fix the wage gap between nurses working in aged care and their public-sector counterparts.

The NSWNA is calling on all Branches to pass a resolution asking the Prime Minister to make 2012 an Aged Care Budget and distribute and sign postcards to Julia Gillard. NSWNA members and the general public are asked to send the postcard – which is emblazoned with the message ‘Aged care can’t wait’ – directly to the PM’s office to ensure she receives them continually.

In addition, representatives from the Association are visiting NSW federal MPs, requesting they sign a pledge to support aged care reform, including the right mix of staff and skills, wages comparable to the public sector, more funding tied to wages and staffing, and a focus on quality care.

As The Lamp went to press, three NSW MPs had signed the pledge: Senator Doug Cameron, MP Craig Thompson, member for Dobell, and MP Ed Husic, member for Chifley.

Each MP the NSWNA and members visit will receive a copy of a new report by the ANF, which sets out detailed information about the wages gap in aged care. All NSWNA Branches have been sent a copy of the report and a new brochure too.SWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes said it was crucial that proper funding be allocated to aged care to ensure a fair deal for nurses as well as quality care for elderly residents in nursing homes.

‘The recently-released Bentley report shows that a Registered Nurse was delivering, on average, just 22 minutes of care per day per resident in a nursing home. It’s essential that aged care receives adequate funding for enough qualified nurses and the right mix of staff and skills overall. This will ensure there are enough nurses to provide quality care for residents, including attracting more nurses to aged care to fill the staff shortages,’ said Brett.

Aged care needs you

Here’s what you can do to help keep aged care on the Federal Government’s agenda::

  • Make sure your Branch passes a resolution asking the Prime Minister to make 2012 an Aged Care Budget.
  • Distribute ‘Aged care can’t wait’ brochures and postcards and encourage people to send their postcard to the Prime Minister.
  • Run a community stall in your local area or shopping mall asking people to sign the postcards.
  • Let the NSWNA know if you can visit your local federal MP with a representative from the Association.
  • Go to the Because we care website to keep up to date with the campaign, and leave your comments and stories.

If you would like to run a community stall in your area or receive more brochures and postcards, contact Stella Topaz at the NSWNA on 02 8595 1234 or email stopaz@nswnurses.asn.au.