Tony Abbott fuels instability in aged care in Tasmania

There are a lot of nasty cuts to aged care hidden in the 2015-16 Federal Budget and Tony Abbott needs to explain why he is slashing $20 million from dementia initiatives, and $40 million from the aged care workforce fund.

This is the second time the Abbott Government has ripped funding away from dementia care and the aged care workforce.

“We need to make sure that older Australian’s receive the care that they need and deserve, which is why the correct strategy and policy decisions need to be made now,” Senator Polley said.

The tardy funding announcement to keep the John L. Grove Centre in Launceston open was welcomed, but did not pull the wool over our eyes. The Government’s disregard for dementia care and aged care in Tasmania remains reflected in the imminent closure of the Jasmine Unit at the Roy Fagan Centre in Hobart, and Scottsdale’s aged care facility, Aminya.

Lead Organiser, Health and Community Services Union Tasmania, Joanne McEvoy says the announcement of Aminya’s closure was a bombshell.

“The 50 staff at Aminya are shocked and devastated, not only for themselves, but for the 23 residents and their families,” Said Ms McEvoy.

“This Government forgets that the closure of these facilities has a human face. These closures will result in fear and uncertainty for many residents. Some residents will be forced to relocate to other facilities meaning they will be further from their loved ones, and may be forced to travel long distances to see them,” Senator Polley said.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia there are almost 8000 Tasmanians living with dementia, with that figure set to rise to 13,500 by 2040.Tasmania’s population is ageing faster than any other state or territory and closing these facilities is not a solution.

“Repercussions of these unfair cuts extend past vulnerable older Australians, and directly hit aged care workers, aged care providers and the community. The Government’s lack of action over the closure of these facilities will only fuel more instability in the sector.” Senator Polley said.