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Government must rethink its aged care policy



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Charles Blunt National Party Federal Member for Richmond

MEDIA STATEMENT 88/19

CHARLES BLUNT MP FEDERAL NATIONAL PARTY MEMBER FOR RICHMOND SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNITY SERVICES AND

SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING THE LEADER OF THE NATIONAL PARTY

GOVERNMENT MUST RETHINK ITS AGED CARE POLICY

The Australian nursing home industry has calculated residents require 27 hours of personal care and attention each, per week.

The Hawke Labor Government is proposing to only fund 17 hours under new funding arrangements, the Care Aggregate Module, to be introduced on 1 July 1988.

This TO hour shortfall has prompted huge protest meetings, letters of complaint and considerable fear and worry from all sectors of the nursing home industry, residents, their families and staff.

With 10 hours fewer a week nursing homes will be forced to:

- wash patients less often, possibly only every second day

- leave patients in bed longer -

- use more chemical and physical restraints

- cut communications with patients and families

- implement production line feeding

- use non-individual continence maintenance

In addition, some nursing home beds may close and residents will be forced to look for alternative accommodation in our already overcrowded public hospitals, but more likely with their f am i 1 i e s .

The Liberal and National Parties have called for a trial run of the new nursing home funding arrangements in one government owned and operated nursing home before they are implemented Australia - wide.

The Government should make sure its proposals work before they are forced on the aged care industry, the frail aged, their relatives, and staff.

ends . _ '

FOR INFORMATION OR INTERVIEW CALL CHARLES BLUNT ON (062) 72 7212 MURWILLUMBAH/CANBERRA 13/4/88 COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY C. I. S.