Aged Care funding won’t help vulnerable nursing home residents

ANMF Media Release. 17 December, 2018

The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), says funding of $552.9 million for aged care home care packages in the 2018-19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), will have minimal impact on the quality and quantity of care provided to vulnerable nursing home residents still suffering as a result of chronic understaffing.

“With the calling of the Royal Commission, and now with this additional funding pledge, it’s clear that the Morrison Government recognises the crisis in aged care,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said today.

“Unfortunately for vulnerable nursing home residents and their families, the Government refuses to address, or quite frankly even acknowledge, the urgent need for mandated minimum staffing levels in all nursing homes, which would ensure best practice care.

“The ANMF is increasingly dismayed that despite an ongoing and growing body of evidence demonstrating the terrible consequences of chronic and critical understaffing in aged care and how this crisis can be fixed, the Government continues to ignore nurses and carers and the concerns of key experts in the sector.

“On the weekend, the ANMF was joined by key medical groups and experts, including the Chair of the 2018 Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, Professor John Pollaers, who called on the Prime Minister to ensure safe care for all elderly Australians by legislating minimum staffing ratios in aged care. We also released evidence demonstrating that aged care ratios make economic sense.

“With over 127,000 elderly Australians still stuck on waiting lists for home care packages, this funding in the MYEFO is long-overdue, too little, too late. And it will do very little for nursing home residents who aren’t getting the care they need and deserve this Christmas.

“Older Australians are entitled to much better than this, and not just in the Christmas spirit of giving and sharing with our families, but because those who cared for us as we grew should be able to expect that we’d honour the investment they made in us and guarantee them safe, dignified care at the end of their lives.

“The evidence is before them. It’s time the Prime Minister and his Government showed real leadership and listen to it. “

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