Greens Leader, Adam Bandt together with Greens Aged Care spokesperson Rachel Siewert have responded to the Prime Minister’s press conference about the long-awaited Royal Commission into Aged Care.
“What’s clear is that privatisation has failed older Australians. The 1997 Howard reforms have led to decades of disaster for aged care,” Bandt said.
“Aged care should not be run for the profits of big corporations. It should be run to make sure we’re looking after older Australians, giving them the quality of life they deserve, because it’s the right thing to do.
“Corporate and for-profit aged care has not delivered and has caused great harm . The Greens believe that Australia’s government should take responsibility not just to regulate, but to deliver on the quality of care older Australians deserve.
“The Greens have already proposed a $3 billion immediate cash injection for the sector, but an overhaul is required and the way we fund it must be overhauled too,” Bandt said.
Greens Aged Care spokesperson, Rachel Siewert said:
“The Final Report into the Aged Care Quality and Safety Royal Commission is an indictment on successive Governments. The Report found that substandard care has affected over 30% of older people accessing aged care.
Cost cutting and under funding have consequences and those consequences are a system that is rife with abuse and neglect and which has failed to deliver high quality and safe care, Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.
We can no longer accept Governments taking money out of essential services like aged care, doing the bare minimum and then wonder why things go so wrong.
The Prime Minister is finally talking about implementing a needs based system for aged care. But is he willing to spend the billions required to ensure everyone gets the care they need and no one waits for aged care?
The Government’s initial response is the absolute bare minimum. They didn’t mention the need for additional home care packages to clear the waiting list or commit significant funding to deliver reform.
The question now is whether the Government is willing to do the work to fundamentally reform the entire aged care system or will most of these recommendations go the way the large number of reports have gone before - unimplemented. The work must start immediately to put an end to the rationing of aged care services.
Aged care workers have been doing the best they can in a failing system. Ensuring workers are properly paid, trained and supported is an essential part of reforming the system and ensuring high quality care.
As Commissioner Pagone noted there have been more than twenty substantial official inquiries into aspects of the aged care system over the past twenty years, this devastating report cannot be yet another that goes ignored or partially implemented.
This report is a sad reflection on the little value our Governments have placed on the care of older Australians and the people that care for them,” Siewert said.