Following Labor’s victory in Saturday’s Federal Election, the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) has called on the new Albanese Government to make aged care a priority for its first 100 days in office and feature it in any negotiations with cross-benchers in coming weeks.
In his Budget reply speech earlier this year, then-Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese set out a five-point plan for the Australian aged care sector:
- Mandating 24/7 registered nurses at every aged care facility;
- Mandating 215 minutes of care per resident, per day;
- Backing a pay rise for workers at the Fair Work Commission, and fully funding the outcome;
- Developing and implementing mandatory nutrition standards for aged care homes; and
- Increasing integrity and accountability for the sector, including new powers for the Aged Care Safety Commissioner.
“Together we can fix the crisis in aged care,” he told jubilant Labor supporters in his victory speech on Saturday night.
The AACC has congratulated Mr Albanese and his new Government, and urged Labor to live up to these promises, as well as to provide an “immediate injection of funds” to help staunch the bleeding amid the current crisis.
“The election has helped focus attention on the need for ambitious action for older Australians and for greater respect and better pay for aged care workers. The care economy was at the heart of the Labor pitch for election and it should be top of its agenda in government.
“We look forward to working in partnership with the new Minister for Aged Care and the whole of government on the transformation needed to deliver better support and care for all older Australians,” the Collaboration said.
Additionally, Pat Garcia, CEO of Catholic Health Australia (pictured), has welcomed the new Government and pleaded for more assistance to aged care providers struggling with the cost of COVID-19.
“There is always a long list of pressing issues that confront any incoming government but delivering quality compassionate care to our elderly must be right at the top.
“Our Fight for Better Aged Care campaign has helped put and keep aged care on the election map over recent weeks, and we are heartened by the new Government’s renewed focus on aged care.
“CHA stands ready to work with an Albanese government to deliver on its pledge for more and better skilled and better paid aged care workers,” he said.
Labor has yet to announce a new Minister for Health or Aged Care.