People from across New South Wales are being urged to raise their concerns about aged care by taking part in a national phone-in on 18 June being conducted by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) and NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA).
With $1.8 billion1 axed from the aged care budget by the Turnbull Government, the ANMF and NSWNMA want to hear how the funding cuts are negatively impacting the delivery of care in nursing homes across the States and Territories.
“The ongoing cuts to ACFI (Aged Care Funding Instrument) and in the MYEFO (Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook) prove that the Government has abandoned aged care,” said Brett Holmes, General Secretary of the NSWNMA.
“These unprecedented budget cuts will see the funding for some frail residents with high care needs in nursing homes drop from $46 a day per resident2, to just $16 per resident. How can you possibly provide quality care for that amount of money? It beggars belief.
“In addition to this decrease in residential care, we are concerned that proposed funding cuts may also affect the amount of care able to be provided to elderly people in their homes.
“Our aged care phone-in is an opportunity for frontline nurses, assistants in nursing (AIN) to tell us how the funding cuts are compromising their ability to do their job and provide a high-standard of care to their residents.
“We’d also like to hear from the children, grandchildren and other relatives of older, vulnerable Australians living in nursing homes – we need to hear about the issues they have and the stories they want to raise. I’m sure they’ll be asking how their mums and dads can be cared for on just $16 a day.”
According to research carried out by the ANMF, the aged care cuts mean that in NSW alone funding will be reduced by $172 million over four years.
“Currently, the sector is suffering a national shortage of 20,000 nurses,” said Mr Holmes. “Our members working in aged care are telling us that it’s not uncommon to have only one registered nurse (RN) caring for up to 100 patients in a nursing home.”
The national phone-in will take place across Australia on Saturday, 18 June from 10am-3pm, with callers from the entire Australian community being asked a series of questions about their experiences and views on aged care. A questionnaire can also be completed on-line at www.anmf.org.au and www.icareandivote.com.au
“This is important information that we will analyse and present to the Government, the Opposition and the Greens, so they understand that they must stand up for elderly Australians and their families and make aged care an election priority,” said Mr Holmes.
“Australians voting on July 2 want to make sure their loved ones are getting the care they expect and deserve.”
Throughout the phone-in, the ANMF will be providing regular updates regarding the number of calls and the major issues of concern, through social media platforms.
The phone-in number is: 02 8595 1279
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