Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeçk’s praise of aged care workers at today’s Senate committee hearing about the Federal Government’s Covid response rings hollow given the crisis facing aged care workers and residents, United Workers Union National Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said today.
“It’s hard for aged care workers to hear Richard Colbeck congratulate them for ‘doing a magnificent job’ when they are working double shifts, frequently without adequate PPE amid a shortage of RAT tests, because of failures by the Federal Government,” Ms Smith said today.
“It’s frankly gobsmacking Senator Colbeck is able to say the aged care sector is ‘performing exceptionally well’; as he says he clearly has not been inside an aged care facility any time recently.
“There have been 741 deaths in aged care this year, up from 282 last year, exhausted aged care workers are facing massive staff shortages, the booster program failed and residents are being locked in their rooms for weeks.
“When does the Federal Government finally recognise the crisis in aged care?
“The Federal Government has offered a Band-Aid $ 800 bonus payment to aged care workers without seriously addressing some of the lowest wages in Australia.
“Meanwhile the Minister is happy to swan around at the Ashes earning $900 a day, failing aged care residents and workers, and denying the problems in aged care.”