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Calls for human rights to be embedded into new aged care act

Leading advocates are in talks with the federal government about implementing the first recommendation of the royal commission, a new Aged Care Act.

A coalition of 25 peak bodies, including the Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN), has said that they want a clear commitment to a rights-based legislation.

A Health Department spokesperson told The Australian last week that the government will begin on “a new consumer-focused Aged Care Act" to commence on 1 July 2023.

The word ‘rights' must be enshrined in the new act in order to give older people the legally enforceable right to quality care and support, according to OPAN chief executive Craig Gear.

“There has been some language around being ‘values focused’ and ‘person centred’, and we don’t think that is strong enough,” he said. 

“You can still be person-centred and you can still take away someone's rights, and an older person shouldn't check their rights at the door of an aged care facility."

Gear spoke with Aged Care Insite about shaping a new rights-based system and what elements are needed to get it right.

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