Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Budget 2005: Budget ignores young people in nursing homes.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Brian Greig Democrats Senator for Western Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Disability

Dated: 11 May 2005

Press Release Number: 05/242 Portfolio: Disability

Budget ignores young people in nursing homes

The Government has again ignored the plight of the 6000 young Australians with disabilities who are currently accommodated in aged care facilities because there is nowhere else for them to go.

Australian Democrats' Disability spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says the Government has turned its back on these young people by failing to allocate even a small amount of the massive budget surplus to prevent new admissions to nursing homes or to deal with the backlog that already exists.

"Many young people in nursing homes have acquired brain injuries or degenerative conditions like multiple sclerosis and are unable to access rehabilitative therapies, day-time activities or even spend their time with people their own age," Senator Greig said.

"Placing an otherwise healthy person with a brain injury in an environment with people three times their age and at a very different stage of life, is completely inappropriate. It is a national disgrace and should be a priority for any Government to address."

Senator Greig says this issue has been the sole focus of almost half of all submissions to the current Senate inquiry into general Aged Care, and requires a national strategy to address the issue.

"The Democrats again call for the development of a national catastrophic injury insurance system, similar to that already operating in New Zealand.

"The NZ example, supported by the AMA, would prevent young people with acquired disabilities having to be accommodated in aged care nursing homes, because they would be properly compensated for their injuries, and therefore able to pay for the care they need," Senator Greig said.

"The Government's only response to date has been its Aged Care Innovative Pool pilot project, which is only moderately accessible for young people in nursing homes, but even this initiative has not been supported by additional or ongoing funding in the 2005 Federal Budget," Senator Greig said.