Federal Government to unveil infection control ‘hit squads’ for aged care outbreaks – Scott Morrison flags aged care to feature in 2021 Federal Budget

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National infection control teams would be deployed into aged care to prevent any future outbreaks within the sector under a plan to be taken to National Cabinet today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Australian is reporting that the national blueprint agreement will be delivered to all State and Territory leaders, for the use of Australian Defence Force (ADF) medical teams and Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) in all aged care centres.

Victoria has already adopted the measures in up to 100 aged care facilities and NSW will likely be the first to introduce the plan, which will involve an audit of the emergency response capabilities under the Aged Care Preparedness Plan.

The blueprint will mandate the use of private hospitals in response to outbreaks in aged care and the training of a ‘surge’ workforce for rapid response cases.

Critically for providers, the Prime Minister also revealed plans for new aged care spending in the 2021 Federal Budget, in response to the Royal Commission’s Final Report, due on 26 February 2021.

“I would hope the Aged Care Royal Commission will be able to give us some important insight and (its report) will be handed down before next year’s Budget which will give us the opportunity, I think, to provide a comprehensive response at that time,” he said.

Mr Morrison added the Government would respond to the immediate issues surrounding the sector during the pandemic as well as have the chance to address “broader structural issues”.

With the Royal Commission promising to turn the system “upside-down”, will the PM be prepared to follow through?