National cabinet to discuss aged care as PM fronts press

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The national cabinet will reportedly meet to discuss an aged care preparedness plan late next week, which would include an audit of state and territory emergency capabilities.

Face-to-face training on infection control, the compulsory use of face masks and use of private hospitals in outbreak areas are also set to be discussed.

This week a spokesperson for the PM reportedly told Fairfax the government was open to look at recommendations from the Royal Commission.

PM fronts the press

This comes as Scott Morrison fronted the press on Friday to insist the Government did have a plan in place to tackle COVID-19 in aged care, but in a global pandemic there are “no guarantees”.

“There are no absolute assurances that can be provided. I think it’s great that Australians have high expectations of the services and standards and facilities, whether it’s in a school or a hospital, an aged care facility – anywhere. That’s what Australia should aspire to,” he said.

He was also quizzed on the assertion that the Government had no plan in place to tackle COVID

“There has been a plan and it has been updated and so we completely reject the assertion that there was not a plan because there was a plan,” he said.

“We have addressed that issue. There was a plan. That has been given in evidence to the Royal Commission and we will continue to provide the facts to the Royal Commission.”

“But what we need to do every day is to ensure that we put that plan into action. I will tell you one of the things we have learnt during this pandemic:

“You can have a plan, you can do the training, you can provide the funding – all of this has been done. Then you’ve got to go back and reinforce the plan and you’ve got to reinforce the learnings, and you’ve got to reinforce the training, and that’s what is happening, and that has been our process the entire time.”

Aged care apology?

The Prime Minister was also asked whether the Commonwealth owed residents of the facilities that have been affected an apology.

“On the days that the system falls short, on the days that expectations are not met, I’m deeply sorry about that, of course I am, and I know that everyone who is involved in the process who is trying to meet those expectations is equally sorry,” he said.