Poor providers: “We have a system that doesn’t get rid of them” – COTA

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Council of the Ageing (COTA) chief Ian Yates was asked if he was surprised by claims the sector was not properly prepared to deal with COVID-19 on ABC Radio’s Drive yesterday.

Mr Yates said propositions put by Senior Counsel of the Royal Commission is not necessarily the Royal Commission talking, which will be revealed by the final report.

He said a range of instructions and guidelines have been issued to providers saying these were, “comprehensive, updated as we learnt more and providers ought to be well prepared.”

But he acknowledged there were major concerns in some corners of the sector.

“There is a weakness in this sector a weakness the Royal Commission pointed to in its interim report. We have too many poor providers. We have a system that doesn’t get rid of them. We do need a stronger and better resourced regulator,” he said.

When asked why some providers had been able to handle outbreaks and others were caught “flat-footed” Mr Yates said the bulk of the sector is well-equipped but too many aren’t.

“That is a function of poor management, poor governance and under resourcing,” he said.

“We have a sector that needs much more pressure to perform at a higher level.”

Mr Yates said more control by consumers and regulators was needed as well as more resources. But if added, there’s a need for the Government and public to be prepared to pay for it.