It’s beyond time for a royal commission into aged care
SO THE top six for-profit aged-care providers reported profits of $224 million for 2017 but cannot afford to increase staff and guarantee 4.3 hours of direct nursing care — “Aged care inquiry rules out set nurse to patient ratio”, (C-M, Sep 14).
They must be joking – 72 per cent of their revenue ($2.17 billion) comes from taxpayers and the rest from residents who live in their facilities. Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt (pictured) endorsed the report and said aged care must become “a career of choice”.
This panel is recommending a voluntary code of practice, a social change campaign, and a shift in negative attitudes. Yet experts and evidence tell us that what we need are more registered and enrolled nurses, mandated nurse-to-resident ratios, and publicly available metrics about aged-care providers’ performance. Until that happens, nothing will change and no one will be accountable.
Unlike the business people who seem to dominate these panels of inquiry, the people who know how aged care works – the medical and healthcare professionals who deliver the care – are ignored. Mr Wyatt needs to get his priorities straight and stop pandering to aged-care lobbyists and providers, and listen to those who know.
When class actions and a royal commission finally occur, it will cost these greedy aged-care providers much more in compensation for their neglect of these vulnerable patients.
John Mayze, Taringa THE only way to fix the problem, especially in highcare wards, is to have a patient-nurse ratio. These people are more vulnerable than kids in daycare and deserve better care.
Lorraine Manteit, Kenmore
DESPITE having three different prime ministers in the past five years, the LNP has maintained consistency of policy by deferring every decision until some time in the future.
The latest deferral device is the proposed royal commission into aged care, when there have been persistent breaches of the service charter by almost all of the service providers.
It is beyond time that the Government acted on these breaches, but, as usual, it has again used a delaying tactic to protect the perpetrators while our elderly citizens are continually being abused at the altar of profit and greed.
Just like climate change, power and energy, welfare equality, taxation, wages, infrastructure and unemployment, the LNP has been very verbose with flowery rhetoric, but sadly missing on action.
Max Tanzer, Elliott Heads FINALLY it has dawned on an Australian prime minister that the scandal-ridden, aged-care sector is in dire need of a royal commission. So belated congratulations, Scott Morrison, on instigating something positive which even Labor will support.
Eric Palm, Gympie
THE words “neglect and staff shortages are rife in nursing homes in Queensland” ( C-M, Sep 15) should make all of us immediately afraid. If not for our elderly relatives, then for ourselves.
A recent audit found that aged-care facilities in our state are in crisis. Most staff in nursing homes are not nurses and patients are routinely forced to wait for hours as pain relief has to be given to them by registered nurses.
Nearly 80 per cent of patients were not properly washed, fed, exercised or turned in their beds to prevent bed sores. Staff said they lacked enough time to feed patients who were incapable of doing so themselves.
Elderly patients who require a high degree of care receive only 1.69 hours of care per shift, well below the standard of 4.3 hours of care.
Lizzie Haydon, Runcorn