Jan 16, 2023

Public feedback requested for Inspector-General of Aged Care

Public feedback requested for Inspector-General of Aged Care

Public consultation on the Government’s Inspector-General of Aged Care position will close in less than two weeks as the Department of Health and Aged Care moves to strengthen its Bill for Parliament approval.

The Inspector-General role addresses Recommendation 12 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality’s Final Report, ensuring there will be a dedicated, independent Office to provide oversight of the aged care system.

Ian Yates, the former Chief Executive (CE) of the peak consumer body, Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, was appointed Interim Inspector-General last December.

However, a permanent Inspector-General cannot be appointed until the legislation is officially passed by Parliament. 

Before the Bill is presented to Parliament, the public has until January 27 to provide feedback on the draft Bill that has been developed in consultation with the Council of Elders and the National Aged Care Advisory Council (NACAC).

Aged care providers and workers, older Australians, carers, families, peak bodies and aged care experts are all being asked to provide feedback on topics such as:

  • Reviews, reports and monitoring 
  • Information gathering powers 
  • Protections for the Inspector-General and those who assist them
  • Criminal offences and civil penalties

This feedback will help guide the finishing touches on the Bill to ensure the Inspector-General and their Office can suitably perform their roles and responsibilities.

Working closely with Parliament, they will monitor, review and report on systemic issues and concerns within aged care, before providing recommendations and solutions as part of regular reporting requirements.

Mr Yates will operate in an administrative capacity when he officially starts on January 30, and he said he is delighted to lead the interim Office over the coming months.

“I am delighted and honoured [to] have been appointed to the inaugural position of Inspector-General of Aged Care,” said Mr Yates.

“I hope to provide the sector with confidence and the assurance that I and my team in the Office of Inspector-General will be working with you, listening to you, and focusing on the issues that are important to you and older people.

“I’m looking forward to the Office developing a work plan that is informed by your views and experiences through a rigorous program of engagement and education.”

Mr Yates said that public feedback will help them get the Bill right.

The Department of Health and Aged Care expects the Bill to pass Parliament by mid-2023. More information on the Inspector-General of Aged Care can be found here.

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  1. My mother-in-law who required oxygen was sat at a table for meals with people who had to be fed by staff and had no communication whatsoever. When I asked for her to be moved, I was told the power cord was not long enough to reach the outlet. Her window in her room faced a quarry and that is what she saw all day. We moved her to another facility.

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