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Monday, 29 May 2000
Page: 16381

To the Honourable the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Petition of members of the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association brings to the attention of the House their concern about the conditions in Hostels and Nursing Homes for the Aged.

We are not referring mainly to the shocking cases that have recently been exposed in the Press. We know from our contacts with old people, friends and acquaintances, how unsatisfactory the situation is in many of the homes. Old people who are sick or not strong enough to look after themselves need a great deal of care from those who are specially trained to give it. They are often in homes because their relatives have not the strength and skill to manage, Untrained casual staff cannot `be expected to manage. We are aware that many nursing homes do not have sufficient trained staff to cope with the needs of patients.

We understand that the Government gives substantial sums to the hostels. Since the Government has deregulated the industry the Homes no longer have to account for the manner in which they spend this. In some cases the main aim seems to he to make a larger profit. It is clear that self-regulation is not working in the interest of the residents.

The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to ensure that the Government specifies a certain percentage of the subsidy which is to be spent on the employment of sufficient suitably trained and paid nursing staff. We ask that frequent checkups then be made by the departmental officers to ensure that this condition is being met.

by Mr Howard (from 45 citizens).