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Wednesday, 18 September 1985
Page: 636

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled; the humble petition of the undersigned citizens of South Australia respectfully showeth that:

Without any warning and at the worst possible moment, the Federal Goverment has abandoned the pensioner patients in South Australia's Nursing Homes. These people are suffering undeserving hardship and trauma as a result of the Federal Government's decision to freeze the nursing home benefit levels in South Australia.

The pensioner patients and those on fixed incomes now cannot expect any relief from recent significant fee increases approved by the Department of Community Services and which have coincided with the decision to freeze benefits.

80-85 per cent of nursing home patients are pensioners and the majority are now required to pay in excess of their pension for their nursing care for the very first time. Some are paying over $5 per day on top of their pension. Many are looking for cheaper nursing care that doesn't exist.

We request that the Federal Government:

1. alleviate the distress of South Australia's nursing home patients and their families by effective restoration of the principle that pensioner patients should not have to pay more than their pension for nursing home care.

2. restore the review of the benefit rates in November 1985.

3. resolve its concern over health care costs with the South Australian Government rather than inflicting unnecessary suffering on nursing home patients.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.