ANMF calls on politicians to make aged care staffing ratios law

ANMF Media Release: 20 February, 2018.

The Federal Executive of the country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), is calling on federal politicians to make staffing ratios in aged care law – to protect vulnerable, older Australians.

Meeting in Brisbane today, the ANMF Federal Executive unanimously passed a special resolution stating:

“The ANMF will soon be launching a national public awareness campaign calling for ratios in aged care to be made law now. The voices of this campaign will be 6 individuals currently in the aged care system, a registered nurse, assistant in nursing, resident, family member, doctor and community supporter. This public campaign will be about the experiences of real people in the aged care system, and why they say staffing is inadequate and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

A/Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said the ANMF’s unanimous support for a new national campaign sends a strong message to the country’s politicians, that it’s time to fix aged care for the sake of elderly nursing home residents and their families.

“Enough is enough,” Ms Butler said today.

“The severe understaffing and under regulation of aged care facilities means elderly Australians in almost every community are not receiving the treatment they need. They are not being properly fed, hydrated or safely given medication and they are experiencing unnecessary pain, suffering and premature death.

“Nurses and care staff struggle because there is simply not enough of them, and yet last year, owners of aged care facilities pocketed over $1 billion in profits while cutting staff and nursing and care hours for residents.

“Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare, which is only fair and reasonable. But in aged care, it’s a very different story, where just 1 registered nurse may be responsible for managing the care of more than 100 residents. There are no mandated ratios for aged care and no laws to ensure our elderly get the care they need.

“Our aged care system has been ignored by governments for far too long and today the ANMF calls on federal politicians to stand-up for older Australians and support making ratios law in aged care.”

Ms Butler acknowledged Senator Derryn Hinch for his ongoing fight to place the issue of inadequate staffing in aged care on the parliamentary agenda.

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