What's on the chopping block for aged care?

Joint media release with the Hon. Shayne Neumann, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Shadow Minister for Ageing, Member for Blair.

A $40 million cut to aged care workforce measures takes effect today, but there is no word from the Abbott Government on what has been cut.

The Aged Care Development Workforce Fund provides training for aged care workers. It is designed to up-skill the workforce to meet the growing complexity of delivering aged care, including through programs such as Dementia Care Essentials. It also funds the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Employment Program.

This cut represents a 15 per cent reduction in resources for the fund, but the Abbott Government has been silent on what programs will be discontinued as a result.

Australian aged care workers demand to know: what has been cut, Mr Abbott?

The Abbott Government has a shameful record of ignoring and mishandling workforce pressures in the aged care sector, potentially putting vulnerable older Australians and the people who care for them at risk.

Ten months ago they promised to undertake an audit of the various funds available for aged care workforce development, with the aim of developing a “coherent strategy”.

SENATOR MITCH FIFIELD, ABC RADIO STATEWIDE, 3 JULY 2014

There is still no sign of a workforce strategy, let alone a coherent one. Instead, the Abbott Government has simply made cuts with no clear aim in mind.

Older Australians will suffer if the Abbott Government continues to ignore the growing workforce crisis in aged care.

It’s time for the Abbott Government to start showing some leadership on aged care and take the future needs of our ageing population seriously. That must start with coming clean on what will programs will go because of today’s $40 million cut.