TURNBULL MISSES CHANCE TO MAKE OLDER AUSTRALIANS A NATIONAL PRIORTY

Relegating the responsibility for ageing to the Outer Ministry is yet another sign that Malcolm Turnbull has no respect for older Australians.

 

Ken Wyatt as the new Minister for Aged Care will inherit a portfolio with a mounting funding crisis, an ageing and shrinking workforce and a need for rapid growth in aged care services.

 

At a time when aged care is demanding greater funding and major reform, removing the portfolio from Cabinet is a huge step backwards.

 

Mr Wyatt will be left shouting from the sidelines when significant financial and reform decisions are being made around the Cabinet table.

 

Australians deserve a Prime Minister, a Cabinet Minister and a government committed to older Australians – unfortunately we appear to have none of the above.

 

With a rapidly ageing population, by 2050 more than twice as many Australians will need aged care services to be delivered by three times as many aged care workers.

 

More of the same is simply not good enough when it comes to the divided and dysfunctional Turnbull Liberal Government’s approach to older Australians.

 

For Malcolm Turnbull to save any face on this significant snub he must direct his new Minister to immediately commit to an independent review and genuine reform of residential aged care funding.

 

The lack of predictability and certainty around aged care funding, caused by a disinterested former Minister has hurt the aged care sector and older Australians for too long.

 

Aged Care providers, unions, the full Federal Court, consumer advocates and even the Health Department all agree that the current aged care funding model is broken and needs reform.

 

An ongoing refusal to reform residential aged care funding will see older Australians being unable to get the care they need and instead filling up our already over-burdened hospitals.

 

Mr Wyatt must get reforms to the Home Care Packages Program and the Commonwealth Home Support Program back on track, address escalating waiting lists for care and make Dementia a national health priority.