House of Representatives
No one was surprised. Everyone was appalled.
That was the universal response to the Aged Care Royal Commission’s interim report.
Titled simply, Neglect, its findings were nothing new.
The Commissioners recommended more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list for higher level care at home.
One hundred and twenty thousand people are on that wait list. In the Hume region in my electorate, there are 948 alone. That’s our mothers, fathers, partners and friends waiting patiently to receive what the Government has agreed to give them.
And while they wait, their health deteriorates, their family suffers burnout and they’re hospitalised because there’s simply no other way to get them care.
In October, the Commissioners called for immediate funding. Instead, the Government promised funding before Christmas. And today we hear that the government will release 10,000 new level three and four packages. I am delighted with this good news but what of the other 110,000? And at this late stage even if Santa Claus himself delivered these packages there’s a strong chance they will remain under the tree as the challenge of operationalising them in the holiday period will take a Christmas miracle.
Government officials said $2.0 to 2.5 billion per year is needed to get people care within three months. Today’s announcement committed only $496.3 million. This is only a fraction of what’s needed. I encourage the government to commit the money and clear the wait list.