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Ratios for Aged Care - Make Them Law Now


About the Campaign

Australia's elderly die in care with no laws to protect them

Over the last 13 years, chronic understaffing has seen a 400% increase in preventable deaths of elderly Australians in aged care with hundreds dying from falls, choking and suicide. They are our parents and grandparents, people who looked after us and loved us, but now many of them, especially those in need of high care, are left unfed, unwashed and even in soiled nappies for hours.

Hard-pressed nurses and care staff do the best they can in impossible circumstances, but they are run off their feet and can’t provide the care they want to. And while our nurses and care staff struggle because there is simply not enough of them, last year*, owners of Aged Care facilities racked up over $1 billion in profits while cutting staff.

Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare, which is as it should be. But there are no ratios for aged care and no laws to ensure our elderly get the care they need.

It’s a crisis that shames us. Our Aged Care system has been ignored by governments for far too long.

*that all indications from major for-profit and non-profit company reports continue to show further increases in profitability in the 2016-17 financial year.

There's an urgent need for staff ratios in aged care

Currently aged care residents are receiving around 2.86 hours of care per day from nurses and carers, which is nowhere near enough time to shower, toilet, medicate, dress, feed, roll over, move, let alone talk to a resident. The evidence shows residents should be receiving a minimum of 4 hours 18 minutes of care per day - one and a half hours more than they are getting now.

Which politicians have pledged their support for ratios in aged care? See here.

Now is the time for action

The Federal Election is our chance to get the government to take action and Make Ratios Law. If you haven't already joined the campaign, join the thousands of supporters across Australia by:

Ratios for Aged Care. Make Them Law. Now.


Aged care providers putting profits before their responsibility to care

Australia’s top six aged care providers, some with foreign ownership, posted enormous profits whilst taking advantage of AUD $2.17 billion in Australian taxpayer funded subsidies, using various loopholes, corporate structures and discretionary trusts to avoid paying their fair share of tax, according to a new report examining tax avoidance in the rapidly-growing aged care sector. The report, Tax Avoidance by For-Profit Aged Care Companies: Profit Shifting on Public Funds, was prepared by Jason Ward from the Tax Justice Network, on behalf of the ANMF.

The chronic staffing crisis in Australia’s aged care system has led to dangerous workloads for nurses and carers resulting, too often, in missed care for vulnerable nursing home residents, yet the report finds that the big for-profit providers clearly have the financial capacity to improve staffing to ensure safer and more effective care. View the full report: http://bit.ly/anmf-taxavoidancereport

A week after the release of the above report, the Senate Economics Reference Committee announced an Inquiry into the financial and tax practices of Australia’s for-profit aged care providers. Read media release

Sign our petition calling on all political parties to:

  • Make for-profit aged care operators accountable for how they spend billions of taxpayer money;
  • Ensure that billions of dollars in taxpayer funding to for-profit aged care providers must be invested in caring for our elderly rather than earning profits for shareholders.

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Media Releases


Authorised by A.Butler, Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Level 1 / 365 Queen St, Melbourne, VIC 3000.