Aged care a high-priority item for voters

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Voters are ranking aged care high on their list of priorities ahead of the Federal Election on Saturday 21 May, with surveys pointing to it as a hot-button issue in the last few weeks of the campaign.

ABC Vote Compass and Australian National University surveys have highlighted aged care as a top issue of concern, and a YouGov poll commissioned by BaptistCare shows that policy for the sector is an “important issue” for 83% of voters and a “very important issue” for 29% of voters this year.

Of those polled, 96% agreed that the new government should take action on a number of important issues following the election; BaptistCare CEO Charles Moore (pictured) says that the pandemic has accelerated systemic problems for the sector that successive governments have ignored.

“Our sector is underfunded and it’s impacting both aged care workers and the most vulnerable in our society, and voters are seeing this too. Growing public interest in these issues means it is not the time for empty promises. Australian voters want real action on aged care after two decades of independent reviews.

“The recommendations of the Royal Commission have not yet been implemented and every day without action is another day that Australians lose confidence in their ability to access timely, affordable, and quality care,” he said.

Survey participants listed their top three recommended actions as increasing Government funding (24%), increasing staff-to-resident ratios (21%), and increasing provider accountability (20%).