Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Lost: 786 aged care beds found: aged care crisis.



Download PDFDownload PDF

Margaret May MP

Federal Member for McPherson Shadow Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

23 APRIL 2009

LOST: 786 AGED CARE BEDS FOUND: AGED CARE CRISIS

Evidence from the Department of Health and Ageing has revealed that the Rudd government is losing aged care beds at a rate of 1 every 14 hours and has been doing so since December 2007.

“Between December 2007 and March 2009, 786 bed licences have been lost from Australia’s struggling aged care system,” Shadow Minister for Ageing Margaret May said today.

“Minister Elliot must explain why an aged care bed is lost every 14 hours in Australia.

“How can Australia possibly meet the care needs of an ageing population when beds are lost at such a feverish pace?

“Heaviest hit were the states of Queensland and Western Australia who have lost 224 and 283 beds respectively since Kevin Rudd came to power.

“With an average investment return of just 1.1% on a high care bed, the current lack of financial viability is prohibiting providers from increasing bed capacity.

“The Rudd government must urgently amend the current funding mechanism to allow financial viability to return to the sector.

“Australia can not afford to be losing so many aged care beds at a time when our over 65 population is set to explode.

“Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot must join with senior Australians, the Aged Care Industry, the Australian Nursing Federation, the federal Coalition and her own Committee Chair Labor Senator Helen Polley and acknowledge that aged care in Australia is in crisis.

“Minister Elliot must immediately face up to the challenges of a sector on red alert.

“Currently 70% of not-for-profit providers are operating in the red and 40% of all providers are in the red.

“How many beds need to be lost before Minister Elliot commits to fixing an industry in crisis?” asked Mrs May.

Media Enquiries: Damian Marwood 0429 493 296