Morrison Has No Plan for Aged CareMedia Release | Featured Story
There is growing anxiety in our community about the lack of Federal Government action to keep our loved ones safe in aged care.
“My office had been inundated with calls from concerned family members who are fearful and want the Morrison Government to have an aged care plan that effectively combats the virus,” said Federal Member for Corangamite Libby Coker.
“People are fearful that without a federal plan in place, their loved one will be the next to contract COVID-19.
Ms Coker said when the Victorian crisis hit, the response of the Federal Government, which is ultimately responsible for Aged Care, was set up “way too late”.
“The Federal Government and the Minister for Aged Care, Senator Richard Colbeck, should have learned the lessons from Newmarch Lodge and Dorothy Henderson House and been ready,” she said.
“Instead, there was an inadequate supply of protective equipment, a lack of training for staff to understand the principles of infection prevention and no effective plan to discourage casual workers from moving between a number of aged care homes for work.”
Ms Coker’s comments follow a roundtable discussion she chaired with a dozen local GPs who raised concerns about the systematic barriers to the effective containment of COVID outbreaks in our region.
Ms Coker said she acknowledged the work of Barwon Health in working together with aged care providers and health care workers to prevent the spread of coronavirus in our region.
“We are fortunate in Corangamite not to have experienced the same levels of cases as Melbourne,” she said.
“But we know how quickly this virus can take hold – we’ve seen that with the outbreak at the Opal South Valley facility in Highton.”
But Ms Coker stressed the federal government needed to get its act together.
“Humanity and dignity should not become subordinate to the bottom line. We must change this,” Ms Coker said.
“I believe we need to address the systematic issues with aged care head on. Nobody should be left out of sight and out of mind. Our loved ones deserve the best possible care.
“There were already cracks in our aged care sector. Just last year, the Royal Commission branded it as ‘unsafe and seemingly uncaring’.
“COVID-19 has just further exposed those problems for all to see.”
Since the election of the Abbott Government in 2013, the Liberals have churned through seven ministers with responsibility for aged care – a minister for every year they have been in power.
And in absence of Government action – Labor has detailed an eight-point plan for aged care.
Last week, the current Minister – Senator Richard Colbeck – walked away from scrutiny in the Senate over the Morrison Government’s failure to protect older Australians in care.Share Tweet