Min­is­ter puts aged care on the agenda

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Philippe Co­querand philippe.co­querand@cnbtimes.com.au

THE North Bur­nett re­ceived a visit from the Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Aged Care Ken Wy­att dur­ing the week to help ad­dress some con­cerns around this im­por­tant is­sue.

With the North Bur­nett’s pop­u­la­tion ex­ceed­ing 10,000 peo­ple, around 22% of those peo­ple are older than 65 years, prompt­ing the gov­ern­ment to con­sider new care mod­els.

Mr Wy­att said the meet­ing had been pro­duc­tive as he was able to come out to Mundubbera and visit the aged care fa­cil­i­ties.

“I’ve been able to have dis­cus­sions around some of the chal­lenges and is­sues they’re fac­ing in car­ing for older mem­bers of the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“The other thing that is im­por­tant is the com­mit­ment and pas­sion to make sure the best pos­si­ble so­lu­tion of ser­vices is of­fered.

“It is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal be­cause what you re­ally have when you have older Aus­tralians, you have the peo­ple that built this com­mu­nity and their knowledge and wisdom just doesn’t dis­ap­pear.”

The North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil pro­posed the idea that ev­ery ex­ist­ing ru­ral hos­pi­tal that has a pri­vate aged care fa­cil­ity op­er­at­ing out­side of the town should have an ad­e­quate aged care fa­cil­ity.

The lack of avail­able beds, changes in leg­is­la­tion and fund­ing, so­cial in­equal­ity, eco­nomic in­equal­ity and the need for more pub­lic trans­port are is­sues cur­rently be­ing faced in the re­gion by the coun­cil.

The North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil has un­til end of May to sub­mit doc­u­ments for aged care.

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