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Labor supports better quality aged care.

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Labor Supports Better Quality Aged Care

MEDIA RELEASE 23 September 2004

Brendan O’Connor, Labor candidate for Gorton, today called for better quality aged care and greater access to nursing homes for elderly Australians.

"The critical shortage of nursing home beds means many frail aged people are spending their final months of their lives in hospital wards rather than in specialised nursing accommodation." he said.

"The latest figures show that in the Western Metro aged care planning area (which includes all of Gorton) there was a shortage of 349 beds and there were 609 ‘phantom’ beds.

Phantom beds are beds promised by the Howard Government but which don’t actually exist.

"A Labor Government will ensure that elderly Australians get access to the high quality services they need and deserve.

"Labor is developing a Benchmark of Care to ensure a minimum quality of care is achieved for all aged care residents.

"Labor has ruled out the extension of accommodation bonds to the current high level care, and to the government’s proposed new medium level care.

"A Labor Government will also reduce the amount of paperwork that nurses have to undertake in aged care facilities.

"Having visited a number of nursing homes and retirement villages in the electorate and spoken with both residents and management I have been listening to their concerns closely.

"I will be a strong advocate for Gorton’s elderly residents.