Aged Care Taskforce report misses the mark

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) is disappointed by the recommendations made in the Aged Care Taskforce’s final report and is urging the federal government to rethink its approach to the aged care system   The 23 recommendations fail to adequately address quality of care and workforce issues within the system which are the fundamental concerns that need urgent attention.   NSWNMA General Secretary, Shaye Candish, said there needs to be greater financial transparency from providers.  “We are yet to see independent evidence of aged care providers being universally financially unsustainable, especially when the Royal Commission evidence demonstrated so many examples of aged care being significantly profitable, often at the expense of vulnerable residents and workers,” said Ms Candish.  “Until providers come clean and show transparency, the federal government and residents in these facilities should not be topping up their bank accounts.  “These recommendations will not improve the workforce shortages being felt across aged care, nor will it address the quality of care being received within the facilities. We are still seeing providers failing to comply with mandatory care minutes which were introduced as a result of the Royal Commission. “We are concerned providers will stand to gain more power and be less accountable if these recommendations are introduced. Despite 75% of aged care being funded by taxpayers, current reporting requirements are still too opaque to see where this funding is spent.  “NSW has the highest number of privatised residential aged care facilities in Australia and many of these recommendations sound alarm bells for our most vulnerable community members when they need aged care services.   “We already see significant cost shifting to our public hospital system when residents without the means to pay a bond are not able to secure a residential aged care placement. These recommendations will only worsen this situation, placing the burden on our state hospitals.   “The aged care system needs to protect our most vulnerable in the community, not alienate them. It needs to deliver the care Australians deserve in their final years.”  The NSWNMA is urging the government to critically analyse the recommendations of the Taskforce with a view to properly addressing the systemic issues within aged care.   

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