Royal commission into aged care sector marks an historical victory to the battle in the space of Australian protection and quality life assurance. On 16 September 2018, Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison announced the government’s decision to establish a royal commission into the aged care sector primarily to look at the wider picture of quality of care provided across Australia.
New cop on the beat aims to unveil the malafide practices and ‘real mistreatment’ ongoing in residential and home aged care services. This brings the listed aged care providers, Regis Healthcare, Estia Health and Japara Healthcare under scrutiny. The inquiry is said not to be restricted to any one area rather it will be on lookout for all profit, not-for-profit, small, regional, large and metropolitan aged care providers.
Since Oakden nursing home scandals, Australian government has tightened their belt to ensure quality and compliance by aged care operator. Prime Minister said, surprise visits, compliance audits and other works undertaken by the government has revealed a disturbing pattern in the non-compliance, failure of care and other abuses that have been happening across the sector.
The Prime Minister cited the scandal of the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service, the South Australian nursing home, closed a year ago after the discovery of restraint, assault and overmedication as one of the foremost reasons to establish royal commission for aged care sector. He said it’s a high time to uncover the aged care operators engaged in law infringement and failure of care.
The Aged care and quality safety commission is reportedly anticipated to cover the quality of care provided to older Australians, the care need for the Australians suffering dementia, the challenge of providing care to young Australians with disabilities living in Residential Aged Care, and other future challenges. The issue of staff ratios and pay rates is also expected to be covered.
The successive government has revealed 177% increase in the number of aged care homes and identified this as causing a risk to residents. The number of facilities refusing to comply with the rules increased by 292% last financial year.
Labor Leader Bill Shorten emphasized on the need for the investigation to look not just at individual cases of mistreatment but at "fundamental, systemic problems.” He added, it should address everything that secures the lives by providing the true care that they deserve.
As per the findings, aged care spending has reached $18.6 billion in 2017-18 which is expected to grow between $5 billion and $23.6 billion over the next five years.
Residential aged care funding has been reduced by almost $3 billion over past few years, said Sean Rooney, CEO Age Services Australia. He said the new government has been ineffective to respond to the problem in aged care system. While strongly believing Royal Commission was not the priority, the Four Corners of ABC has aimed to ask families, staff and policy setters on the experiences and issues hitting the aged care sector.
This news, meanwhile has smashed the aged care operators with Regis Healthcare plunging 17.13 per cent to $3.00, Japara Healthcare moving down by 17 per cent to $1.39 and Estia Health slumping by 18.644% to $2.4 on September 17, 2018.
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