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Government report proves aged care bed shortage and quality of care under pressure.

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Chris Evans - Government Report Proves Aged Care Bed Shortages And Quality Of Care Under Pressure Friday, 18 May 2001

Government Report Proves Aged Care Bed Shortages And Quality Of Care Under Pressure Chris Evans - Shadow Minister for the Aged

Media Statement - 17 May 2001

The Two Year Review of the Government's Aged Care Reforms, released today, confirms the growing shortage of aged care beds and raises doubts over the quality of care being provided to frail older Australians.

"This report reinforces the community's concerns over the critical shortage of nursing home beds and declining levels of care," said Senator Chris Evans, Shadow Minister for the Aged.

"Under John Howard the number of aged care beds has dropped dramatically, when compared to the population aged 70 and over, leaving families unable to find a bed for a frail relative. (see figure 1.1 on page 28 of the report)

"Waiting times for nursing homes continue to grow, with more people waiting longer than three months to find a nursing home bed. (see table 1.4 on page 34 of the report)

"The report admits that there is widespread concern, amongst consumers, providers, staff and State governments, about the declining number of skilled staff following the introduction of the reforms. (see page 96 of the report)

"These concerns are not addressed by the Review or the Government.

"Labor has committed to minimum staffing guidelines that will ensure that there are the skilled staff needed to deliver high quality aged care.

"The report also raises doubts over the funding of aged care, admitting that nursing homes face ongoing cost increases of 2.5% to 3.4% per year while only receiving increases of 1.5% per year from the Government. (see page 159 of the report)

"Four years after their introduction the community now has confirmation that the Government's aged

care reforms have failed." Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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