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Minister for Ageing callousy and cruelly cuts 200 aged care beds.



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Margaret May MP

Federal Member for McPherson Shadow Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

1 July, 2009

MINISTER FOR AGEING CALLOUSY AND CRUELLY CUTS 2000 AGED CARE BEDS

Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, has cut almost 2000 new residential aged care places, announcing just 5,748 new residential beds despite a commitment in October 2008 to provide 7600 new aged care beds in the 2008-09 Aged Care Approvals Round.

“The decision by Minister Elliot to cut almost 2000 new bed licences is callous and cruel,” Shadow Minister for Ageing Margaret May said today.

“We have more Senior Australians needing a bed than ever before.

“Far too many Australians are already travelling hundreds of kilometres to the nearest vacant aged care bed.

“This astonishing cut in residential aged care beds has followed a chronic under-subscription in applications for bed licences in Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

“It is unbelievable that the Minister has cut so many beds in the midst of an aged care crisis.

“Minister Elliot needs to get out and meet with senior Australians, meet with aged care providers and their staff to learn of the difficulties facing the sector.

“Last week Minister Elliot’s aged care crisis claimed another 105 beds in Victoria, adding to over 1000 other beds lost since the Rudd Government was elected.

“Australia’s population is ageing rapidly and we need to ensure that the challenges of tomorrow are met.

“Senior Australians deserve a flexible, sustainable and world-class aged care sector and it is clear that Minister Elliot is not up to getting the job done,” said Mrs May.

Media Contact: Damian Marwood 0429 493296