Home | News | Opposition refutes Labor’s 98 per cent claim
Last week's celebration of 98 per cent of registered nurses was cut short after government data revealed aged-care facilities were stuck. Picture: David Clark

Opposition refutes Labor’s 98 per cent claim

An article by The Australian claimed the government’s promise of 24/7 registered nurses remained unfulfilled, despite last week's announcement.

Government data revealed the share of homes meeting the 24/7 registered nurse in aged care facilities remained at 81 per cent – just one per cent above the level estimated by Aged Care Minister Anika Wells last year.

The article was published after last week's announcement by Ms Wells, celebrating the 24/7 mandate.

Opposition aged-care spokeswoman Anne Ruston told The Australian that the focus should have been on "bolstering the workforce rather than announcing misleading headlines".

"The revelations the minister has falsely ‘dressed up’ the figures are damning and disingenuous to the hardworking aged-care sector," Ms Ruston said.

"This sector wants honesty and accountability… not expedited deadlines and exaggerated announcements."

Aged-care providers have questioned the new figures and the depth of reporting.

Eldercare Australia chief Jane Pickering said the 98 per cent average figure was "fairly broad".

"They clearly had someone look at the numbers and say how can we present the data to make it look as good as it can look," Ms Pickering said.

"The 98 per cent of all reported hours on-site and on-duty is a fairly broad number, and everything in the 90s sounds good, but I think people need to drill down and look at the numbers."

Ms Wells said Labor was dedicated to transparency and took pride in the reforms to ensure registered nurses were present on-site in aged-care facilities 98 per cent of the time.

"Transparency was a key factor in the release of the 24/7 data," she said.

"Which is why media were provided a dashboard outlining the key figures, including the 81 per cent and the 86 per cent of facilities who reported data had a nurse on site 24/7."

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