A sign that the State Government is fearful about how a major outbreak in an Andrews’ Government-run facility could appear?
Following the $30 million in funding announced last week to upgrade Victoria’s public aged care homes, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) had written to providers to advise that additional funding to help limit staff to a single site had been extended for another 13 weeks until the end of February 2021.
“This extension recognises the continued importance of managing infection risks in residential aged care,” it said.
A day later however, Victorian providers received a follow-up email to let them know that the funding only applied to Government aged care homes.
“Private and not-for-profit residential aged care facilities should disregard the contents,” the email stated.
The State Government is not obligated to extend the funding to Federal Government-funded operators.
But the emails appear poorly executed and suggest the DHHS at least is concerned about a COVID outbreak in its own facilities following Premier Daniel Andrews’ comments that he wouldn’t place his mother in ‘private’ aged care.
For Profit and Not For Profit aged care homes have recorded a higher number of coronavirus cases during the second wave than Government-run facilities.
However, it is worth noting around 90% of Victoria’s 180-plus public aged care homes are in rural and regional areas – away from the worst sites for community transmission.