Nov 17, 2021

25 peak bodies take action against government’s lack of commitment for new aged care reform

25 peak bodies take action against govt

Leading advocates for older Australians are concerned the government might be backing away from its commitment to support the royal commission’s recommendation to develop a rights-based aged care system in Australia.

The royal commission’s first recommendation was to draft a new rights-based Aged Care Act to be in force by 1 July 2023. 

A coalition of 25 peak bodies for older people has issued a statement to say that the royal commission’s decision to make this recommendation its first “highlighted the importance and centrality of this new Act to truly transforming the current aged care system”.

“It seems that we’re going back to [a system where] we’re just going to look after older people and be nice and fluffy,” Mr Gear continued. 

“But we ended up with a royal commission [in the current system] because people’s rights were being breached,” he added. 

The coalition’s members include the OPAN, Council on the Ageing, Dementia Australia, National Seniors, Carers Australia and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Association.

Though the government has accepted recommendation one, the coalition is concerned that in subsequent discussions about the new Act, rights have not been “prominent”.

The government has also accepted recommendations two and three, which call for specific rights and principles for older people to be included in the Act.

The coalition says that older people have been saying to them that the proposed ‘principles’ should, in fact, be ‘rights’.

“Rights of older people receiving aged care need to be expanded to ensure an extensive range of rights are adequately captured,” the coalition says. 

They suggest the following rights are included in a rights-based Act:

  • the right to services being available in a timely manner, integrated with the community, to be locally available and to be in the least restrictive environment.
  • the right to liberty, freedom of movement, and freedom from physical and chemical restraint.
  • the right to have diversity supported and promoted.
  • the right to a quality end of life – with appropriate and timely access to palliative care supports and expertise.
  • for people providing informal care, the right to access supports in accordance with needs and to enable enjoyment of the rights to social participation.

The aged care quality standards do not directly refer to rights, while the aged care ‘Charter of rights’ outlines the rights every aged care provider should respect, but it is not enforceable.

“The current charter is good in theory, but it’s very difficult to enforce,” said Mr Gear.

“The system is not rights-based and does not have the resources and structures in place to ensure the rights of older people are upheld,” the coalition says. 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) uses a rights-based approach under the UN Convention on Rights of People with Disability.

According to a report in The Australian, both sides of politics are concerned about the potential for cost blowouts delivering aged care services to a growing population of older people.

The coalition is calling for older people themselves to be involved in co-designing the new Act, and for the aged care workforce to have “the right numbers and skill mix” to meet the needs of older people.

The government has committed to consulting on details of the new Act through a new Elders Council and a new Aged Care Advisory Council, but neither has been established yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. 25 peak bodies (supposedly advocating for older Australians) – perhaps this is also part of the overall problem…..

  2. Not much point in listening to what a Government says, that only reflects the “talking points” for this week.

    Watch what they do. They gave away $billions to profitable companies in Job Keeper, they continue to exempt real estate agents and lawyers from anti money laundering legislation and they allow Trusts to be used to convert otherwise taxable income into something else.

    Now watch again, there will be no money for rights based Aged Care, no money to deal with equity issues. I wonder where the money went.

  3. “The current charter is good in theory, but it’s very difficult to enforce,” said Mr Gear.

    The role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of people receiving aged care.
    The Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission is the national end-to-end regulator of aged care services, and the primary point of contact for consumers and providers in relation to quality and safety.
    The agency is the body responsible to promote high quality care and services to safeguard everyone who is receiving Australian Government funded aged Care.

    The ACQ&SC has FAILED in the past (the reports from the AC Royal Commission confirms this claim) and continues to do so.

    I experienced a situation (since the ACRC) where the AC Minister’s office issued instructions to the ACQ&SC on my behalf. The ACQ&SC ignored the directive.

    We need to replace this ‘toothless tiger’ immediately.

Banner Banner
Banner Banner

Residents less satisfied in larger, privately run aged care facilities 

  An analysis of two years’ data gleaned from consumer experience reports reveals that even though the majority of aged care residents are satisfied with their experience of residential aged care, larger, privately run facilities recorded lower rates of satisfaction overall, and attention from staff and food rated relatively poorly. The findings represent the voices... Read More

7 Smart Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People That Most People Don’t Know About

Most of us have to deal with toxic people on a daily basis. Whether it’s an old friend who’s turned sour, a competitive co-worker or a family member that just won’t go away, toxic people can be tough to deal with. Should you fight fire with fire? Or should you accept them the way they... Read More

“My number one goal is to get the f*#@ out of the nursing home”

  The royal commission is hearing this week from younger Australians living in residential aged care. Lisa Corcoran, who spoke with the help of a speech pathologist, made her feelings clear. “My number one goal is to get the fuck out of the nursing home,” she said during the first day of hearings.  Ms Corcoran... Read More
Banner Banner