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Report a first step to reform of aged care

The final Caring for Older Australians report has been handed to the government.

The completion of the Productivity Commission's final report into aged care should be the first step toward urgent reform of Australia's under-resourced aged care sector, says the Australian Nursing Federation.

The final PC report, titled Caring for Older Australians, follows public hearings across the country and submissions from key industry stakeholders. It is now being reviewed by the federal government.

ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said it was hoped that the PC report focuses on "care" as part of critical workforce issues urgently required for the aged care sector.

"The government must act on the very important issue of quality care, so that we can ensure that older Australians receive better aged care," Thomas said in a statement.

"The ANF believes it is crucial that the PC's recommendations and subsequent actions taken by the government surrounding the reform of the aged care sector must include the care needs of elderly nursing home residents."

The ANF said aged care reforms must address:

* Closing the wage gap between aged care nurses and their colleagues working in other parts of the health system which on average up to $300 a week.
* Ensuring there is the right balance of skills and nursing hours so that aged care nurses and care staff are able to deliver quality care for every resident they care for, many with complex health needs.
* national licensing system for all workers in the aged care sector.

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