The existing regulatory oversight of the aged-care sector has badly failed Australians and a new body alone won’t fix the issue.
That’s what Labor’s message to government boiled down to regarding the establishment of a new watchdog for the sector.
Speaking in support of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill 2018, MP Tony Zappia said “only time will tell just how effective it’s going to be”.
Zappia’s said there are two other important changes urgently required if the legislation is going to make the difference that MPs hope it will.
“Firstly, there needs to be a culture change across the whole sector, from the regulatory agencies right through to the operators of these facilities,” he said. “Secondly, there needs to be additional funding, and considerable additional funding in some cases. Without it, I can’t see how we’re going to make the improvements that the community is calling for.”
The draft laws yesterday passed the House of Representatives but not without some criticism for the current handling of complaints.
Labor’s Graham Perrett said they often go nowhere.
“The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner communicates fewer than 15 per cent of complaints received by it to the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency – 15 per cent. That cannot be right,” Perrett said.
“Imagine the fear of those vulnerable, frail residents – not able to move, not able to raise any alarm at all and day after day subjected to treatment that no Australian should be subjected to.”
The new legislation would streamline the functions of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said this will allow for instant and constant communication on compliance, risks and complaints.Do you have an idea for a story?
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