Jun 01, 2022

New aged care ministers revealed: Everything you need to know

New aged care ministers
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has unveiled his new Cabinet, naming Mark Butler Minister for Health and Aged Care (right) and Anika Wells Minister for Aged Care and Sport (left).

Former nurse Ged Kearney has been appointed Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care.

Clare O’Neil, who had performed impressively in the role of Shadow Minister for Aged Care, has been moved to the position of Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security.

Aged care was a key plank of Labor’s election campaign, promising $2.5 billion for around-the-clock nurses in aged care, improved food, better conditions for residents, and higher pay for workers.

But some have expressed concern about the appointment of Butler to the aged care portfolio considering he was Minister for Ageing and Aged Care between 2010 and 2013, under the Gillard and Rudd governments.

Social affairs reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton, wrote in 2020 that the reforms delivered “vast sums of free money to providers”.

“Looking forward to getting started”

This morning on ABC radio, Wells said, “Australians care deeply about fixing aged care.”

She said tens of thousands voted for Labor based on their plans for aged care and that she was, “Looking forward to getting started.”

Wells herself worked in aged care while studying at university and her mother worked in aged care for a decade before retiring.

She said many aged care homes are “grossly understaffed” and reiterated Labor’s promise to back pay rises for aged care staff, and said the government is “looking at submission” already.

The new government has said it will look overseas for aged care workers.

“Workers don’t feel the position is valued by society so we have to deal with that,” Wells observed.

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  1. You will find training Australian nurses and paying them more money will improve conditions and staff numbers.

    Start with our own citizens needs. Getting people here from O.S. is taking away jobs. Please consider this.

    1. Carol. I couldn’t agree more. These companies get away with low wages as foreign workers are now the bulk of the Aged Care sector because most Aussies wouldn’t be silly enough or desperate enough to work for these disgusting conditions and wages.Most of the hiring of foreign workers though is most definitely deliberate for obvious reasons.When you are on a working visa you are not going to complain about conditions and pay and these Aged Care businesses know it! A win for them. Very dodgy these Aged Care places that hire mostly foreigners. From what I heard lately it sounds like the people coming here to work in some sectors are not qualified enough and it becomes a means to an end and they just disappear into our society on false and misleading visas.

    2. Damn right! So many of our elders have difficulty in accepting and understanding foreign born carers. I am NOT saying these people are not doing an amazing job, They are! . . Our elders need carers who speak their original languages.. Sorry if I am being racist. .

  2. I’m really hoping things do change it cannot keep going the way it is, we need staff ratios desperately, if we offer palliative care then put on a staff the time to give the, care, respect and dignity to these beautiful residents instead of trying to look after 13 other residents at the same time, I’ve been in aged care for 23 years I question myself every day now why I’m still doing it, I think it’s because my residents need the care, empathy, sympathy, understanding and respect that I’m able to give but it’s very taxing on her body and mind the way aged care is now 😓

  3. How will it work with two Ministers responsible for Aged Care?
    I’m looking forward to a greater focus on reducing the loneliness and social isolation experienced by many elderly living at home or in residential aged care. The average resident of a Care Home, for example, receives less than 10 minutes per day of face-to-face conversation (Exeter University study, UK). Virtual visits (via Skype or Zoom and video-phones) can make a huge difference to mental health.

  4. Old people MUST have better care and quality of life! They are not are prisoners! They must and can and deserve to go out and about freely if they can, they Must have outdoor outings! Now they live in the prison not in age care or nursing homes! So sad! They worked all they life’s and in the end of there life we treat them badly! Shame on us and our Country! WE MUST AND CAN DO BETTER! Everyone must remember, you can be poor or rich, we all can be in the most horrible age care, because our children will decide what to do with us! Let’s do every age care and nursing home, amazing home! So if we end in any of them, WE WILL BE HAPPY OLD PEOPLE! First we must training Australian nurses and paying them more money it will improve conditions and staff numbers. We must put this job on the top priority and when someone ask where you work? nurses can proudly say in age care, nursing home we must created competition to be are nurse in nursing home. This job must be the privilege, prestige and the best! If country can’t have good care about old and disabled people! It tells something very wrong with the Country! We must stop talking and start changing for the better lifestyle our old and disabled people!

  5. Doesn’t matter who they have in parliament advocating for the Aged Care sector. Nothing will change. Although Nazareth Aged Care have offered 25% hrly increase for their workers. And some others are going to over 5%. This has nothing to do with the government. This is obviously a massive shortage if staff and these companies suddenly believe the staff are worth the extra money. My company won’t go more than 2%. What an insult!! And we are always so short staffed. People tearing up at the workload and saying they are going to leave. Disgusting this place I work in. Oh well this is what happens. People walk! My company is huge! Across the country! Building these flash new facilities around Bris alone let alone the rest of the country. My pay is $24.10 an hr and I have have only gone from $18 hrly 10 yrs ago to $24.10. IN TEN YEARS. $6.00 an hr OVER 10 YRS!!!

  6. The funding is sufficient it’s the use of those resources that are questionable
    Everyone forgets the elders in aged care are not in a hospital they are in their home and should be treated as people not patients
    Good example is Registered Nurse examines elders weight chart and notes they have lost a kilogram so refers to a Dietitian who charges Aged Care Facility a fee and puts someone on ensure. Guess what elders takes ensure and then don’t eat a balanced diet because they are full of supplements. To me the Nurse should have advised residents GP who then takes over clinical care. Then looks at any underlying clinical condition and makes decision on that basis. GP should be at centre of care not a passive bystander
    Too many other examples to list

  7. Having worked in aged care for many years before I was forced to retire due to health issues, I watched the care go backwards before I retired and it broke my heart. So many carers came into aged care who had a three week course then thrown into the deep end. Many different nationalities who entered aged care could barely speak English and the lack of empathy was and still is rampant. My hopes raised when the royal commission began but when it was finished nothing changed. The home package was concentrated on due to lack of vacancies in nursing homes but the care in aged care went further down. I voted for labour in the hope that this will be rectified soon. The elderly should be treated with respect and empathy in all ares including dementia. I am waiting hopefully that things will changed and the elderly can live out their twilight years comfortable and they can smiled again.
    Thank you in advance.

  8. Why are we looking at oversea staffing for aged care. I have worked in aged for 19yrs, and have noticed more and more staff from overseas and how many of the residents don’t like it. If staff are paid better, working conditions improved, we will not have a issue staffing the RACF.

  9. duh ! The rhetoric sounds the same. It’s the already on the ground carers that need a little bit more take-home pay to maintain them after training in the system. Not much has changed in 15 years, I did my course with Tracey the Placement People. – 22 people started the course and I was the only one who finished it. This was 2011. I did my placement in a Nursing Home and with a Council doing Home Care and got offered a position with both. Accepted both and after 11 years still, work with both. Would I like to have more take-home pay? Yes, I would but I would pay more tax and probably my net pay wouldn’t change much. A lot of the new carers are not carers as they used to be because of the fact the role has changed to get more work done in the same amount of time with no time for the care factor to be put into the caring role. Unless more staff can be magically found that can be trained as carers, then there is no answer. Training providers are to blame as well as they become part of the new system to push out more Carers. Trainees on the job should work, but the staff on the job who are there to help the trainees are always under pressure to do their care roles and dont have the extra time to put into the trainees to learn the Care Factor.

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