Federal Labor would introduce new penalties, including jail time, for dodgy aged care operators if it wins the next federal election.
A new aged care complaints commissioner would also be created, stronger investigative powers would be handed to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and providers would have report publicly on how much money they spend on food, care, cleaning for residents, as well as their profits.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese in Wyong takes a selfie for Coast Community Connections President Sharon Brownlee and CEO Bruce Davis. during the Dobell campaign launch at Alison Homestead. Coast Community Connections provides Aged Care and Childcare in the area with more than 100 employees.Credit:Dylan Coker
The opposition has released new details about its plans to improve aged care, just days after leader Anthony Albanese placed a $2.5 billion aged care package at the heart of his budget reply speech.
Mr Albanese on Thursday announced plans for every aged care facility to have a registered nurse on site 24 hours per day, for more carers to be hired, healthier meals to be served, a pay rise for workers and 215 care minutes per resident, per day.
The threat of jail time for dodgy operators would apply to providers who seriously and repeatedly facilitate or cover up the abuse or neglect of older Australians in their care.
New duty of care requirements for providers would include a compensation regime and, also, provide a path towards class actions against poor providers.
Mr Albanese said Australians in aged care had been neglected for far too long.
“The people who built Australia deserve more protection from their government. I will act to ensure the sorts of shocking stories we heard during the Aged Care Royal Commission are no longer tolerated,” he said.
Shadow aged care spokeswoman Clare O’Neil said that most aged care providers did a great job but Labor would throw the book at dodgy operators.
“But there are dodgy providers out there who have been allowed to continue shocking practices which hurt residents, such as re-serving uneaten food from one resident – pureed for other residents – as well as delays in medical treatment and overuse of physical restraints and drugs.
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