Labor calls for release of reports into COVID outbreaks at St Basil’s and Heritage Care’s Epping Gardens

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The Opposition is pushing the Morrison Government to release the independent report into the outbreaks at the two aged care homes which occurred during Victoria’s second coronavirus wave before Parliament breaks for summer.

St. Basil’s and Epping Gardens were the sites of two of the worst aged care outbreaks with St. Basil’s recording 223 infections among residents, staff and close contacts and 45 resident deaths, while Epping Gardens had 219 cases and 38 resident deaths.

The Government’s response to the Royal Commission’s special COVID report tabled in Parliament on 30 November 2020 stated that the reviews into St. Basil’s and Heritage Gardens were due the same day – but they have yet to be published on the Department of Health’s website.

The Australian is reporting that Aged Care Minister, Senator Richard Colbeck has seen the two reports and they will be released in coming days.

But this will be too late for Labor to respond in Parliament – which the Opposition does not appreciate.

The Opposition’s Shadow Ageing Minister, Julie Collins said Australians must be assured that the Government had learnt from its previous failings in the sector following the deaths of almost 700 aged care residents during the pandemic.

“The Morrison government must immediately release reports on outbreaks of COVID-19 at St Basil’s and Epping Garden to assist aged care homes facing the challenges of COVID-19,” she said.

“It’s not good enough that the Morrison government hasn’t been more transparent about these reports and other reviews into previous outbreaks of COVID-19 in aged care.”