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Election Concerns on lack of Commitment for Disability and Aged Care

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As Elections 2022 approach, there are still questions on commitments and implementations of the findings of the Royal Commission for the aged care and disability by major parties.

The recent Budget 2022-23 for Aged Care has failed to address the recommendations of The Royal Commission into Aged Care which raised many concerns in regards to aged care. The Government has announced funding to Aged care workforce and COVID-19 response funding, but the question still remains about its sustainability in the long term as the CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia, Paul Sadler, highlighted. He added further that both major parties had ruled out an aged care levy and failed to debate on the apparatus required to sustain an ageing population.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has outlined his party’s approach to aged care commitments in light of the Royal Commission into Aged Care’s findings, recommending $2.5bn to increase wages, having a registered nurse on site and minimum hours of face-to-face time introduced.

However, The Australian Community Industry Alliance (ACIA), a not-for profit organisation, has identified in their press release on the Aged Care and Disability crisis in Australia, that the vulnerable in our community still lack protection as they remain affected by the quality of support services they can get from providers. ACIA in their findings have stated that 1 in 3 of the providers have reported insufficient funding to meet clients’ needs. 40% of NDIS participants have had their funding cut despite the advice of the health professionals that they require ongoing support. The report further shows that there is lack of competent staff for about 30-40% of the shifts. The Aged Care Act and Aged Care Commission have failed in auditing against the international Australian sampling requirements. They state that 4 out of 5 auditors failed to interview clients in their audits. Even though the government has announced measures in the 2022-2023 budget and the opposition Labor party has made commitments in their election campaign on aged care and disability, these announcements do not address the finding of the Royal commission adequately. As a result of on-going issues in aged care and disability over the past few years, there is inadequate support for the elderly and those with disabilities along with their families and carers.

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