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Aged Care Commissioner asked to examine: Docker River Flexible Aboriginal Aged Care Service.

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Minister for Ageing


September 22, 2008

Aged Care Commissioner asked to examine - Docker River Flexible Aboriginal Aged Care Service

The Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot has asked the Aged Care Commissioner, Ms Rhonda Parker to conduct an independent assessment of the Department of Health and Ageing’s handling of the Docker River Flexible Aboriginal Aged Care Service.

(The Docker River service is also known as Tjilpi Pampaku Nguar Flexible Aged Care Service which is located 670 kilometres by road southwest of Alice Springs)

Mrs Elliot also expressed condolences to the family of Ms Dulcie Brumby who died on June 14, 2007 at Docker River - after falling into an open fire.

The referral to the Aged Care Commissioner today includes the period before her death.

Mrs Elliot said the death of Ms Brumby was an “appalling tragedy”.

“We must act to improve aged care services for older Indigenous Australians,” Mrs Elliot said.

Earlier today, the Australian Government detailed a plan to improve the long-term quality of aged care for Indigenous communities.

This includes setting - for the first time - an independent set of quality standards applied to flexible Aboriginal aged care services in remote and very remote communities.

This is supported by a $46.2 million program to support care staff and management, provide locum relief and improve facilities.

There are 30 Aboriginal flexible aged care services, providing about 700 places in mainly remote and very remote areas.

For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280