Aged Care Must be an Election Issue says Australia's Biggest Health Union

By Petrina Smith
Wednesday, 14 August, 2013

Australia’s biggest health union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), has renewed calls for major political parties and key independents to make aged care an election issue.
The call is made following further allegations of mistreatment of nursing home residents, with Federal Secretary Lee Thomas reiterating the ANMF's zero tolerance to mental or physical abuse of people in aged care facilities.
“The allegations raised on last night’s Lateline program were truly distressing - now is the time for bipartisan action so no one else suffers,” Ms Thomas said today.
“For the past several years, the ANMF has campaigned, seeking solutions on many of the issues raised in the program and this again shows why all sides of politics must no longer ignore the plight of older, vulnerable Australians living in aged care facilities.”
As part of its aged care election agenda, the ANMF is seeking commitment from the ALP, Coalition, Greens and key Independents, on identified solutions, including:

  1. A registered nurse on site at all stand-alone aged care facilities – 24/7;

  2. Minimum staffing levels and skill mix available to meet the needs of the nursing home residents, particularly those who are frail and require complex care or have dementia;

  3. An annual review of aged care funding to ensure that wages paid to aged care staff are same as those in the public health system;

  4. A national registration scheme for all assistants in nursing (care workers) who provide nursing care or deliver nursing services;

  5. Enhanced transparency and accountability in funding, to ensure that every dollar spent is focused on the quality of care received by residents in aged care.

“It’s time for action to ensure older Australians receive high quality care from a well-educated and prepared workforce,” Ms Thomas added.
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