CANBERRA, AAP – Transforming the aged sector so older Australians receive appropriate support and care is the driving force behind a new industry alliance urging for reform.
The Australian Aged Care Collaboration alliance represents more than 1000 organisations that deliver the majority of government-subsidised aged care services to more than 1.3 million people.
The group has launched a campaign ahead of the aged care royal commission’s final report, which is due on February 26.
The interim report described Australia’s aged care system as a shocking tale of neglect, which fails to meet the needs of older and often very often vulnerable people.
The commissioners said aged care services were underfunded, did not deliver uniformly safe and quality care for older people, and were unkind and uncaring towards them
AACC spokeswoman Patricia Sparrow says the final report cannot be met with inaction.
“Australia currently spends about half of what other comparable countries do on looking after their most vulnerable older citizens,” she said.
“Enough is enough – Australia should no longer accept the drip-feed of piecemeal rescue packages and ad hoc changes.”
The group is targeting the campaign at federal electorates with the most older Australians, and that are held by their current member of parliament by a small margin.
Liberal MP Bridget Archer’s Tasmanian electorate of Bass is ranked number 28 for the proportion of older Australians, but she holds the seat by a margin of only 563 votes on a two-party preferred basis.
The seat with the oldest population in Australia is Lyne in NSW.
It’s currently represented by Nationals MP David Gillespie and is considered a safe seat for the party to continue winning.
The second oldest is Gilmore in NSW, held by Labor’s Fiona Phillips by a small margin.
The federal government’s handling of the aged care sector has come under criticism during the coronavirus pandemic, with 685 residents dying after becoming infected.