Scott Morrison appeared to shirk responsibly for the poor handling of aged care during the pandemic in an interview with ABC recently.
“Daniel Andrews, the Victorian Premier, says the buck stops with him when it comes to the hotel quarantine bungle. Does the buck stop with you, Prime Minister, for the litany of aged care failures?” ABC host Michael Rowland asked the PM.
“Well there are shared responsibilities,” Morrison started to reply, before cutting himself short and continuing: “Well public health is a matter for the Victorian government.”
Rowland tried to curtail the PM’s attempt at circumnavigating the question by telling him that aged care is the responsibility of the federal government.
“Well public health … we regulate aged care, but when there is a public health pandemic, then public health. Whether it gets into aged care, shopping centres, schools or anywhere else then those are things that are managed from Victoria. So, I don’t think it’s as binary as you suggest,” said the PM.
The royal commission into aged care has recently alleged that there was no pandemic plan in place for aged care and this has played a large part in the thousands of COVID-19 cases now tearing through Victorian homes. Scott Morrison disagrees.
“The plan was in place, assertions were made by individuals at the commission, and those assertions have been rejected,” he told Rowland.
Authorities have been under fire for a number of aged care bungles during the pandemic. From allowing providers to self-report their COVID-19 readiness, to the retention bonus fiasco and lack of readily available PPE for homes.
The AMA has said that the pandemic has exposed the aged care system and that the death and suffering has been preventable – as reported by SBS.
In a submission to the Royal Commission, the AMA has called for an urgent audit of every aged care home in Australia to prevent further massive outbreaks of COVID-19.
“Hundreds of elderly Australians have died needlessly, and without family by their side. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers have done their best to comfort and support them in their final days and hours. This is taking an enormous toll on the healthcare workforce,” the submission read.
The number of COVID-19 cases in aged care since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 3,337 with 2050 active cases. There have been 276 aged care deaths due to COVID-19.Do you have an idea for a story?
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