Age care spotlight a winner
A ROYAL commission into the aged care system is set to begin within months, focusing on abuse and neglect of elderly Australians.
The inquiry received bipartisan support yesterday as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten backed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s push to address a “very disturbing trend” in abuse and failures in residential and in-home care across the country.
“I’d welcome an overdue look at the aged care sector in Australia,” Mr Shorten said yesterday.
“I said it was in national crisis some months ago … the government rushed out and accused me rather wrongly of causing fear-mongering …
“But leave aside who’s come up with the idea, the real story here is that many of our older Australians are genuinely worried about going into aged care … the one thing a lot of older Australians secretly dread is losing control over their lives and they are genuinely worried that when they go into aged care that is exactly what happens.”
The government aims to settle on terms of reference within weeks and choose commissioners and begin the inquiry in coming months. It will cost up to $75 million and is expected to hand down its findings late next year.
Announcing the royal commission, Mr Morrison said he was shocked by the extent of failures he had seen in the aged care system during his first three weeks in the top job.
He said a government crackdown on aged care facilities had revealed the problem was widespread and more needed to be done.