Labor’s plan to help aged care crisis

Labor candidate for Flynn Matt Burnett said Labor’s aged care policy would ease pressure on Central Queensland’s emergency departments and allow older Australians to receive more non-urgent medical care within residential aged care facilities.

Eilish Massie

Labor candidate for Flynn Matt Burnett said Labor’s aged care policy would ease pressure on Central Queensland’s emergency departments and allow older Australians to receive more non-urgent medical care within residential aged care facilities.

Mr Burnett said a recent report by the Queensland Parliament’s Health and Environment Committee found that an understaffed and underfunded aged care sector reduced the wellbeing of older Australians.

“You have patients in aged care in hospitals when they should be able to be looked after in the residential aged care, in their home,” he said.

‘These could be relatively minor procedures that are taking up space in the hospital, costing a lot more money, but also where they want to be is in their home.

“This is not good enough, it’s time for Australia to fix the aged care system.”

Mr Burnett said he had also heard an increasing number of registered aged care nurses were experiencing burnout, with a number of staff leaving the industry altogether.

“An Albanese Labor Government will stop the neglect and put security, dignity, quality and humanity back into aged care for older Australians,” he said.

“Our plan will put nurses back into nursing homes, giving carers more time to care. It will lift wages in the sector, deliver better care and improve transparency and accountability.”

Biloela aged care nurse Tracey White said the number one issue the industry faced was short staffing.

After being a registered nurse for 16 years, she said the industry was the hardest it’s ever been.

“We’re losing a lot of good staff because it’s a hard industry,” she said.

“Makes me disgusted that the sector is so underpaid, people will leave being a Registered Nurse as they get paid better in the public sector rather than the private sector.

“It’s really sad… the government needs to wake up to what needs to be done.”

Mr Burnett said Labor would make aged care a place people wanted to work.

“Labor’s plan will change aged care in this country for the better, end the neglect and ensure older Australians and their families receive the care they deserve,” he said.

Labor’s detailed five-point plan includes:

· Require a registered nurse on site 24/7 in residential care.

· Give carers more time to care through an increase to 215 minutes of direct care a day, including 44 minutes from a registered nurse.

· Formally support and fund a pay rise for aged care workers.

· Require better food for residents.

· Require more transparency in the system so we know taxpayers’ money is going on care.