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Budget missed opportunity to close gap

Aged care funding must close the nurse wage gap, says union.

Last week’s federal budget failed to include a number of key workforce issues which would help deliver quality care for older Australians, says the ANF

Yvonne Chaperon, ANF assistant federal secretary said the funding allocated to the aged care sector doesn’t address the country’s critically under-resourced aged care workforce.

"Our aged care sector is in desperate need of nurses and assistants in nursing (AINs), and one of the main reasons recruitment is an ongoing problem is that aged care nurses are paid on average up to $300 a week less than their colleagues in other parts of the health system," Chaperon said in a statement.

Unfortunately, she said, the funding of aged care the budget does not help close this wage gap for nurses and AINs.

"We acknowledge the Productivity Commission will bring down its final report into aged care in June and that it will be then up to the federal government fix aged care in budget 2012.

"This means ensuring there is the right balance of skills and nursing hours so that nurses and care staff are able to deliver quality care for every resident they care for.”

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