The disgrace of aged care is a national flaw – the failure to plan

John Hewson

About two-thirds of our 331 COVID deaths have been of aged Australians. From the outset it was known that the deaths would be concentrated among the aged. Indeed, Australia has one of the highest aged death rates from COVID-19 in the world.

How was the virus allowed to run from one aged-care facility to another, from one aged-care cluster to another, without a decisive response?

The federal government has a clear, overarching responsibility for aged care, but this week it has moved to blatant blame-shifting. The Minister for Aged Care, Richard Colbeck, has told us that while the federal government is “responsible for the management and regulation of aged care”, it is the responsibility of the states to “manage the pandemic” because they are “responsible for the public health response”. What semantics. What a copout.

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