01/10/2020 - 16:19

Govt asked to act on aged care

01/10/2020 - 16:19

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The aged care royal commission has made recommendations to the government requiring immediate action to support the aged care sector during the pandemic.

Scott Morrison apologised for the government failures in the aged care sector during pandemic in August.

The aged care royal commission has made recommendations to the government requiring immediate action to support the aged care sector during the pandemic.

In its special report on the coronavirus crisis released today, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety said the pandemic had been the greatest challenge Australia’s aged care sector had ever faced.

It outlined four areas of immediate action for the federal government.

It said the government should fund providers to ensure there are adequate staff available to deal with external visitors, and it should create Medicare Benefits Schedule items to increase the provision of allied health and mental health services.

Thirdly, it said the government should publish a national aged care plan for COVID-19 and establish a national aged care advisory body.

It also recommended the government should require providers to appoint infection control officers and should arrange infection prevention and control experts into residential aged care homes.

The commissioners, Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs, who authored the report, said the government must report to parliament before December 1, 2020 to report on its progress on the implementation of these recommendations.

In the report, the commissioners wrote that it was important to release the special report now because no-one knows how long the pandemic will last and aged care residents continue to suffer and more could die as a result of COVID-19.

“Now is not the time for blame," the report said. 

“There is too much at stake.

“The nation needs to know what is being done, and what will be done, to protect those people receiving aged care services—those who this virus has affected disproportionately and whose entitlement to high quality care in safe environments that protect their wellbeing and dignity falls within the scope of our commission.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologised for the government failures in the aged care sector during pandemic in August. 

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