Anthony Albanese’s aged care push is smart policy. It’s the right thing to do too, but it does not address the fundamental problem of a privatised system and its profit-takers. The Morrison government tossed some money at the problem, much went to the middlemen. The Opposition, to its credit, is having a go. But is Labor leader Anthony Albanese on the right track? Wherever you look, the failures of privatisation are myriad, often spectacular. Billions wasted on JobActive the privatised jobs service, gold-plating in electricity, privatised prisons, the gutting of the bureaucracy in favour of consultants, the sale of Sydney Airport, Transurban’s taxing toll-road monopolies, profiteers in the home care scheme.
Source: Albanese’s aged care push: right target, wrong attack. Privatisation the rub – Michael West Media
Morrison is at war and Peter Dutton is our Defence Minister. He sent our best ship to Tonga and it broke down now a week has gone by and he’s managed to deploy 129 personnel to aged care. This is a government that has surrendered not one that’s capable of keeping anyone safe let alone a Nation
More than a week after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that up to 1700 ADF personnel would be sent to help fill clinical and support roles in aged care homes, only a handful of the nation’s more than 2600 facilities have received military assistance.
Official ADF data shows there were just 129 personnel on the ground helping fill staff shortages in the sector on Tuesday, including 18 in NSW and 50 in Victoria.
Source: Aged care still waiting for ADF support as homes close amid staff shortages
The LNP are making a feast of their ineptitude suggesting 60% of aged care deaths were in palliative care patients so that’s ok. Palliative staff needn’t be highly paid because are going to die anyway. This government treats them like “untouchables” outside of real society. So everything is well with the world and their political management of it. $0.77cents an hour is a generous bonus. A tip if of course they qualify. There’s no “crisis” according to Richard Colbeck. “Why is everybody picking on me. I’m doing what all LNP Ministers do. After all Scott Morrison went to Hawaii.
‘The last days of their lives’ The government knows just how politically devastating the aged care crisis is. Perhaps that’s why the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, engaged in an insulting attempt to downplay the severity of the mounting death toll. In a briefing on Monday he volunteered some “important information”: He had been told that 60 per cent of those who died in aged care were palliative and “were in the absolute last days of their lives”.
Source: Despite 566 deaths from COVID in aged care, Minister Richard Colbeck says the sector is not in crisis – ABC News
Morrison pointed out that 66% of the Covid Deaths in Aged-Care were among the ” already near dying”. That seems his justification for not increasing the cost of labor but importing “cheap ” to keep the pressure on and shut the unions up. It seems like Abbott he wishes nature would take its course. So, case settled there’s no real need for him to intervene and lose voters it’s the natural course of events. The outcry of his inaction was there before Covid the virus has merely brought it into view and magnified it. His Minister Colbeck reflected that L-NP attitude. His solution has even magnified it more. The offer of an $800 two week bonus payment with strict conditions attached over a 4 month period amounts to a generous $0.77cents an hour bonus in reality. Morrison really seems to be a character out of a Dicken’s novel rather than Australia’s PM. “Scott sir. can I please have a little more dignity”
Mr Morrison’s miserly “retention bonus” in the face of a supply crisis reeks of a government determined to import cheap labour as soon as possible to solve its problems.
Source: Michael Pascoe: Aged care, COVID and cheap migrant labour
Failure to protect Federal aged care residents has left 389 elderly Australians dead this year alone, and 40% of private nursing homes locked down. Dr Sarah Russell reports on the government’s devastating failure as the Covid aged care crisis grips. Demanding accountability from the Minister for Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, is being “a knocker”. So says our King of Spin, Scott Morrison. Given the media’s new obsession with appearances – and whether people smile for the camera – it was not a good look for Colbeck to be enjoying an outing at the cricket on the same day he declined to appear before the Covid-19 committee. In a letter to chair Katy Gallagher, Colbeck claimed he could not justify “diverting the time and resources” of his office given the pandemic was at a “critical point”. That the aged care system is at a “critical point” was an understatement. On the day Colbeck was out and about at the cricket (14 January), thousands of older people were in lockdown. Some 1,107 of the 2,704 federally operated private aged care homes (40 per cent) were locked down. The residential aged care system was in crisis.
Source: A Poor Knock: Colbeck carousing at the cricket amid aged care crisis just tip of incompetence iceberg – Michael West Media
“Colbeck declined to attend the Senate Covid-19 committee on 14 January. He cited the need not to divert health department officials from their “urgent and critical” work but it was revealed this week he attended three days of the Hobart Test from Friday 14 January to Sunday 16 January.”
Source: Richard Colbeck should have been sacked over this 2021 scandal – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Are retirement villages a rip-off? Retirees could be up to a million dollars worse off if they moved into a retirement village than if they remained at home, according to new analysis. Callum Foote reports.
Source: Retirement villages: the destruction of retiree capital – Michael West Media
What was Scott Morrison’s plan when he decided Australians should “live with Covid”? Did he give any thought to the impact this would have on older people living in aged care homes? Sarah Russell reports on the plight of our most vulnerable.
Source: “Living with Covid” – not so easy if you’re in an aged care home! – Michael West Media
The Morrison “plans” don’t fly!! “Gunna Scott Morrison PM” does it again and again and again. He fails!! Fails to deliver on his god damned ever changing plans.
He called the ALP incompetent back in 2013 “for Pink Bats” ” for a Government debt 1/3rd of today’s” “for Saving us from the GFC” and “for making us the world’s best economy” Our media buries that historical news today with their hands out hoping for the promised rewards the cashed-up LNP has. A political war chest x 5-10 times that of the ALPs ready to be distributed via ads like Harvey Norman’s JobKeeper bonus has been. Corporate Socialism was Mussolini’s idea of Fascism too.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has blasted the Coalition government for overseeing a COVID “crisis” in aged care, with barely half of Commonwealth facilities having received vaccine booster shots so far and hundreds of homes battling active outbreaks. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said 1500 of the nation’s 2600 Commonwealth aged-care facilities had received vaccine boosters, with the remainder scheduled to receive them by the end of January. But with hundreds of homes battling outbreaks and thousands of residents in effective lockdown, Mr Albanese claimed the Morrison government had dropped the ball. “How is it that in spite of what has occurred before, the aged-care system, which is run, funded and regulated by the federal government, still hasn’t got this right?” the Labor leader said. “It’s something that should just not have happened. It could have been foreseen.”
Source: Almost half of aged care homes waiting for boosters amid 500 outbreaks
Just when you think this government can’t get any more sneaky. In a Human Rights Denied,virtually unnoticed move, the Coalition government has snuck an alarming last-minute amendment into an aged care bill before Parliament that removes the legal and human rights of aged care residents. The amendment removes the civil and criminal protections to which all other Australians are entitled. If a member of the public is restrained without their consent, the perpetrator can be charged. In contrast, an aged care resident who is restrained without their consent will have no legal recourse. Then the government has the gall to try to claim that this amendment relates to a recommendation of the Aged Care Royal Commission, when it is the complete opposite of what the royal commissioners recommended.
Source: Amended dignity: our elders denied their human rights again – Michael West Media
The Aged Care Royal Commissioners noted that a recipient of a Level 4 home care package worth $53,000 received on average just 8 hours and 45 minutes of support. Surely this was a big red flag. Yet the federal government has given the home care sector an extra $6.5 billion over next four years without putting in place any accountability measures to stop the rorting of the system.
Source: Profits over People: in-home care a cash bonanza for greedy aged providers – Michael West Media
A worrying coronavirus outbreak in a NSW aged care facility sparked by a Christmas in July event has ballooned out to 20 cases. The cluster at the Wyoming Residential Aged Care Facility in the Sydney suburb of Summer Hill included 18 residents and two staff members by Monday afternoon. Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the outbreak had been sparked by a super-spreader ‘Christmas in July’ event at the facility, which is owned by Hardi Aged Care and regulated by the federal government. “I understand that the actual numbers are believed to have occurred off a super-spreading event that occurred in the aged care facility,” Mr Hazzard said. “Sometimes it isn’t a good idea to have a ‘Christmas in July’ right in the middle of a pandemic, but I do understand that it is an effort to try and provide entertainment and support to residents.” Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said all of the infected residents lived on the top floor of the building. She said the entire floor, all 32 residents, had been taken to hospital either to be treated for the virus or as a precaution. “The reason for that is that some of them are obviously positive and others are close contacts of the positive c
Source: Christmas in July party sparks aged care cluster | The New Daily
The Budget cash splash in aged care has rendered the Royal Commission a political stunt as the billions in extra funding are not tied to reform measures or direct care and food for elderly Australians. Dr Sarah Russell reports.
Source: “Political Stunt”: how the Budget cash splash means profit to providers over aged care reform – Michael West
The highest level of home care support for older Australians costs $52,000. This $1000 a week buys, on average, less than nine hours of support. There’s plenty of skimming going on by aged care providers, some of whom are the nation’s biggest corporatised charities. With the budget expected to boost the number of home care packages without demanding any oversight, providers will be rubbing their hands with glee. Dr Sarah Russell reports.
Source: Aged Care fail – and now a Budget bonanza for Home Care freeloaders – Michael West
Every effort is being made by Scott Morrison to avoid facing this issue head on. Yet from Abbott to Morrison Aged-Care has always been ignored. If it were given any attention it only been to make it a cheaper rather than a better service. (ODT)
Numerous inquiries, reviews and consultations over the years have provided mounds of evidence of negligence, neglect and abuse in residential aged care homes. Yet the recommendations have mostly been ignored. Now we watch in horror as the number of elderly residents who die from Covid-19 continues to climb. The government is eventually going to have to explain to the nation how this entirely predictable tragedy occurred on its watch, writes Dr Sarah Russell.
via Covid-19 tragedy in aged care: whose side is the Coalition government on? – Michael West
Scott Morrison Named (ODT)
A former Coalition minister has slammed the federal government’s handling of aged care and called for major structural change in a submission that exposes years of failure to help older Australians.
One of Tony Abbott’s own ministers after the 2013 election, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, says the government has not had the political fortitude to fix the sector after spurning calls for action when it took power.
She also names Prime Minister Scott Morrison as one of the ministers of the social service responsible for aged care in the federal cabinet during the time she says the government squandered a chance for reform.
via Government squandered opportunity for aged care reform: Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
The real issue, however, is that the aged care system is simply not fit for purpose in normal times and so was inevitably destined to fail when under this sort of extreme pressure.
Hunt on Tuesday praised the care his late father received in a home. “I cannot imagine better care that my family and my father could have got.”
But Andrews said “I wouldn’t want my mum in some of these places”, an observation many distraught families will relate to.
The interim report of the royal commission into aged care, released late last year, was scathing, declaring older people and their families were left “isolated and powerless in this hidden-from-view system”.
COVID has provided a tragic real time vindication of the commission’s observation.
View from The Hill: Aged care crisis reflects poor preparation and a broken system
Anticipating the program, and the likely response to its stories of neglect, poor food and failures of care, newly installed Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a royal commission into the $22-billion-a-year sector.
But there was more bad publicity to come. In January, 7.30 broadcast a story about the use of chemical and physical restraints in some nursing homes, which sent further shockwaves through the community.
Governments often make funding announcements when they are in a political tight spot, and need to look like they are doing something.
But the particular nature of the $320 million payment announced in February — then re-announced in March — then re-announced in the federal budget — has caused disquiet even among those who benefit from it, the owners and shareholders of residential aged-care facilities.
Well, the sector says that, since 2014, between pausing and reducing indexation of ongoing residential care subsidies, rejigging the funding formula and other changes, the current Government has reduced funding to the sector by about $3 billion.
via Aged care funding package is mediocre policy fed by mediocre politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)