The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work report on aged care funding reveals once again the terrible human cost paid for years of neglect, Carolyn Smith, Aged Care Director of United Workers Union, said today.
“The report’s finding that $10 billion in aged care funding each year is necessary to meet Royal Commission recommendations is an appalling indictment on the treatment of older Australians,” Ms Smith said.
“It is the same figure the Royal Commission reached when it found Federal Government funding in 2018-19 was $9.8 billion lower annually than it should be if aged care had not suffered cutback after cutback.
“This report explains why aged care workers are left in tears after their shifts.
“The $10 billion annual funding shortfall is leading to horrendous human costs in aged care, with older Australians left unsafe and vulnerable, and workers left physically and emotionally exhausted.
“The report once again underlines that the Federal Government needs to substantially and effectively address the human toll the aged care crisis is taking on older Australians, their families and aged care workers.”
Ms Smith also noted reports the Federal Budget was considering a $10 billion funding program in aged care over four years.
“The reported Budget spend of $2.5 billion a year is a quarter of what is actually needed,” Ms Smith said.
“When is the Federal Government finally going to recognise that a well-staffed, well-trained, adequately-paid workforce is the single biggest driver to providing the quality care time needed by older people in Australia.”