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Aged care ‘weighed down’ in red tape

Parliament told that aged care nurses spend 35 per cent of their time filling in paperwork.

Red tape is weighing down the aged care sector from improving their services, much to the detriment of older Australians, parliament has been told.

The opposition's ageing spokeswoman Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the regulatory load the government was placing on aged care workers and facilities removed them from their primary function of looking after seniors.

"When I talk to nurses in aged care facilities, they tell me they spend 35 per cent of their time filling in paperwork," she told the Senate last Thursday.

That included reports to federal government that provided the same information "over and over and over again".

Fierravanti-Wells said the government had to lighten the paper load or risk an unhealthy prognosis for the sector.

"If this government does not take much needed action, then we are going to find that more and more providers are going to go out of the business.

"More and more older Australians will not be able to receive the much-needed care that they will need."

Labor senator Helen Polley said the opposition's efforts to rewrite history on aged care was a "bit rich".

"When we came to government in 2007, aged care was already in crisis and facing difficulties," she said.

Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert said her party believed the Aged Care Amendment Bill 2011 should be supported.

"What we should do is see how this new system works and then make any refinements if those are necessary," she said.

"This needs to be seen as the beginning of what should see very significant aged-care reform."

The bill passed without amendments.


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