AGED CARE CRISIS ON THE AGENDA IN MERIMBULA
24 Jul 2018
Labor’s Medicare Taskforce headed to Merimbula today to kick off a series of national consultations on aged care and dementia.
Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Kelly said one of the key topics on the agenda would be the ballooning wait list for home care packages, which now exceeds more than 105,000 nationally.
“I have been overwhelmed and angered by the number of people contacting me in desperation about unfilled home care packages, so I requested the Taskforce prioritise Eden-Monaro in its consultations.
“It’s hard to overstate the terrible impacts these extended waits are having on the quality of life, the health and happiness of older people in my community.”
Taskforce Chair and Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the Turnbull Government had ‘betrayed’ older Australians and their families.
“In the lead up to this year’s Budget we saw the Turnbull Government boasting that they were about to deliver extra investment in aged care, but this turned out to be a cruel hoax,” Ms Claydon said.
“We’ve since learnt that, despite the Government spin, the Government didn’t invest a single extra dollar in aged care in the Budget. Instead, the 14,000 new home packages were funded through savage cuts to other parts of aged care.”
Taskforce Deputy Chair Dr Mike Freelander said the “shamelessly misled older Australians” about its aged care investment.
“The waiting list for home care packages grew by 20,000 in the last six months of 2017 alone. So 3,500 extra packages a year announced by the Government won’t even keep pace with the growth rate, let alone reduce the waiting list,” Dr Freelander said.
“Not only that, but more than 21,000 residential aged care places are set to be cut over the next three years to pay for the small increase in home care packages.
“Older Australians and their families have every right to feel betrayed that the Turnbull Government couldn’t find a single extra cent to solve the aged care crisis and yet it found $80 billion to give tax cuts to big business and the banks.”