In response to Mr Morrison’s claim during last night’s Leaders’ debate that he ‘blew the whistle’ on aged care, ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said: “The Prime Minister’s claim is not only astonishing, it’s offensive.
“Aged care nurses and workers have been campaigning to fix the crisis in aged care for years. In 2016 the ANMF presented comprehensive research, which outlined what was needed to fix chronic understaffing in the sector, to the Government – this was ignored. We conducted a cost-benefit analysis, which outlined the costs of implementing safe staffing ratios with increased wages and the benefits that would be gained, and developed an implementation plan to guide the process of addressing the core problems in the sector, which were, again, ignored.
“In June 2018, the Aged Care Workforce Taskforce published its Workforce Strategy, which also outlined solutions to address the core problems in the sector and which was also ignored by Government.
“It was only following the shocking expose on aged care by Four Corners that the Prime Minister finally acted – not to fix the problems in the sector but to, yet again, ‘kick the can down the road’ by calling a Royal Commission into Safety and Quality in Aged Care.
“The Royal Commission’s interim report was titled “Neglect”, encapsulating the Government’s attitude to its responsibilities to care for older Australians. Despite this and, in 2021, a final report which, detailed a system where the extent of substandard care is ‘deeply concerning and unacceptable by any measure’ and provided 148 recommendations for action, the Government failed to act - nothing has changed.
“The Government has had almost a decade to address the worsening situation in aged care. It has failed to deliver.
“The lack of meaningful action from the Morrison Government is causing considerable distress for aged care nurses and care-workers across the country, who have been calling for change in the sector for years but who feel they, and those in their care, older Australians, aren’t valued enough for the Government to even try to fix the crisis in aged care.”
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 254390