Crisis in aged care: Mr Morrison, you let it happen

08 February 2022

Aged care nurses and workers will hold a COVID-safe protest in Canberra today (Tuesday 8 February) to voice our frustration and anger over the Morrison Government’s continuing failure to protect aged care workers and residents and to demand immediate action to fix the crisis and prevent any more unnecessary deaths in Australia’s nursing homes.

The country’s aged care system is on the edge of collapse – and Mr Morrison has let this happen. His Government has overseen:

  • Dangerously unsafe staffing levels;
  • Inadequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Lack of rapid antigen tests (RATs);
  • Failed delivery of booster shots;
  • Cynical cash ‘bonus’ incentives for poorly-paid workers, but no commitment to real wage increases;
  • A failure to act decisively on the Royal Commission’s recommendations for mandated staff ratios; and,
  • Ministers Hunt and Colbeck refusing to accept their responsibility for the lives of older Australians and instead deflecting blame for their failures onto the sector, the workforce, and even aged care residents themselves.

These failures to protect older Australians in the current COVID crisis follow a decade of neglect by consecutive governments.

Registered nurses, enrolled nurses and aged care workers are furious. We will not stand by and watch nursing home residents and elderly Australians suffer any longer. This is why we, the ACTU and interested politicians and members of the community, will stand-together in solidarity today to condemn Mr Morrison and his Ministers for allowing a complete breakdown of privately-run nursing homes.

“The message from our exhausted aged care nurses, nursing home residents and their families is loud and clear – no more talking, no more ‘taskforces’, no more ‘inquiries’, no more deferring responsibility – only action,” ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said today.

“We are fed-up with this Government for abandoning aged care workers and residents and we’re angry that Mr Morrison has let this all happen. Every day that Mr Morrison fails to act on safe, minimum staffing ratios, fails to deliver a decent, permanent pay rise for underpaid workers and fails to show our aged care workers and residents dignity and respect, is another day that elderly Australians in nursing homes continue to suffer.”

Ms Butler, along with current and former aged care nurses, will address the rally in Canberra today, calling on Mr Morrison and his Ministers to fix the crisis in aged care. COVID-safe protocols, including social distancing, will be adhered to throughout the event.

ANMF media release authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne. 

The ANMF, with over 310,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.

ANMF media contact: Richard Lenarduzzi on 0411 254 390

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