Home | Aged Care Royal Commission | Albanese accuses Prime Minister of ‘callous neglect’ on aged care, demands budget focus on helping dementia
Picture: NCA NewsWire/Flavio Brancaleone

Albanese accuses Prime Minister of ‘callous neglect’ on aged care, demands budget focus on helping dementia

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese wants next week’s federal budget to ensure dementia management is “core business” for aged care, accusing the prime minister of “callously” neglecting the system.

Mr Albanese will deliver a speech at the McKell Institute in Sydney on Thursday, addressing the “shameful” and “embarrassing” outcomes of the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

“The idea that our most vulnerable citizens are being neglected — of maggots crawling out from underneath bandages, and our own parents and grandparents being malnourished — is incomprehensible in 21st century Australia,” he said.

“Scott Morrison could have acted earlier. He deliberately and callously chose not to do so.”

Mr Albanese said the aged care system needed serious investment, including better nutrition for residents, and improved pay and training for staff.

“Without comprehensive reform of the way we manage dementia, we face a massive and continuing impact on the productivity of women, who are primarily the carers of ageing relatives,” he said.

“Next week’s budget should ensure that dementia management is core business for aged care.”

Key actions proposed by Labor:

  • Dementia care must be part of the formal training requirements for doctors, nurses and aged care workers;
  • Aged care providers must demonstrate they are competent in caring for older Australians with dementia;
  • Providers must appoint dementia support leaders to ensure residents get the care they need;
  • Update the national building code to ensure new aged care homes are dementia friendly;
  • Recruit dementia support counsellors; and
  • Expand existing dementia carer dog programs.

Mr Albanese also took aim at the Morrison government for its handling of the worst health threat in a century.

“Coronavirus is raging across the globe with tragic human consequences,” he said.

“While the emergency is thankfully less severe in Australia than many other nations, the Morrison government’s bungling of the vaccine rollout and its failure to run an effective quarantine system are acting as a handbrake on our recovery.”

Mr Albanese said the national challenge was to deal with policy and economic weaknesses exposed by the pandemic.

“Creating a better future requires careful planning,” he said.

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