WA Labor plans to fast-track aged care facilities to fill 3,500 unused bed licences

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The Opposition has announced it will assess existing government buildings and land to determine if they can be converted into aged care homes if it wins the March election.

The Opposition leader Mark McGowan has also promised to cut red tape for developers, saying they were being deterred by local government planning schemes.

Opposition leader Mr McGowan said there were currently 3,500 unused bed licences in WA while almost 150 elderly people were waiting in hospital for beds.

“The average wait for an elderly person in hospital to be transferred to an aged care bed is 68 days,” he said. “At a cost of approximately $1910 per day, this is hardly the best use of taxpayers’ money.”

However, acting Health Minister Mike Nahan said the Government was already working to supply more beds.

“The government’s continuous red tape reduction campaign has expedited a range of planning approvals and actively targets bottlenecks, including local government processes,” he said.

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