The Palaszszuk-led Queensland government made good on its promise to improve transparency among the private aged care facilities in the state, with the introduction of The Health Transparency Bill to state parliament.
If passed, the bill will enable the collection and publication of information from private and public health facilities and residential aged care facilities, and would enable elderly residents and their families to make informed decisions when choosing a service.
“The Palaszczuk Government is sick of dodgy contractors and greedy owners exploiting vulnerable Queenslanders for profit,” said Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles.
“Even though the Federal Government is responsible for the sector’s regulation, this is one way we can make them more accountable.
“When it is enacted, this bill will help open up private and public facilities to similar levels of scrutiny, which will help improve the care provided to older Queenslanders,” Miles said.
Under the new framework, potential aged care residents and their families would be able to view the information, such as average daily resident care hours, and compare homes on a new website.
“This is about making sure our parents, and grandparents, and loved ones are treated with respect, dignity and appropriate levels of care,” said Miles.
“Queensland families want to know if their loved one gives their life savings to a company to care for them in their old age, what exactly are they paying for? Enough staff with the right skill mix to care for them? Or another Lamborghini for the CEO?”
The Government will seek to mandate staffing ratios and legislate a percentage of staff to be registered nurses. In addition it will seek to set a to minimum average for hours of nursing and personal care to residents daily.
Its inception comes in the wake of the Earle Haven fiasco. Miles scorned the current federal oversight of the aged care sector in his speech introducing the bill.
“It was not until the dust settled that we learned the federal government knew Earle Haven was in trouble. This disaster has shone a light on how badly the Morrison government has dropped the ball on regulating the private aged care sector,” he said.
The Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Richard Colbeck, announced that there would be an independent inquiry into the events of Earle Haven, led by former beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell. Findings are expected in October this year.Do you have an idea for a story?
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