Age care facilities get $106m safety boost

Oliver Caffrey
(Australian Associated Press)


A string of high profile abuse cases in residential aged care homes has prompted a major funding boost for measures to protect the elderly.

As part of a $106 million federal funding deal, the centres will undergo spot checks, staff will be better trained and nursing home investigators will be deployed.

“It’s important that older Australians live with dignity in their retirement,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

“There are fantastic facilities all around the country, but I also know that there are others that are not up to standard and that’s why we’re acting.”

It will be the first upgrade of aged care standards in more than 20 years as $50 million goes towards supporting providers and helping staff improve standards across the industry.

Minister for Aged Health Ken Wyatt introduced legislation to the lower house on Wednesday to establish a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which brings together the previous agency and commissioner.

The commission will take over as the aged care regulator from the beginning of 2020.

Labor spokeswoman for ageing Julie Collins welcomed the announcement from Mr Morrison, but believed it was “too little, too late”.

“For (Mr Morrison) to go out today and pretend he’s the friend of older Australians does not wash,” Ms Collins told reporters.

“This announcement today is from a report that’s been sitting on the government’s desk since October last year.”


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