Labor has called for more action on dementia for those currently living with dementia.
Labor welcomes the announcement of $43 million for dementia research, but warns it should not be seen as a replacement for investing in dementia care, training and community awareness.
“Dementia care has reached a critical point, following two years of mismanagement and cruel cuts under the Abbott-Turnbull Government,” warned Shadow Minister for Ageing Shayne Neumann.
“We acknowledge that dementia research is essential, but we must remember that today’s breakthrough could still take years or decades to make an impact.
“Australians living with dementia now, their families, carers and communities have been neglected by the Liberal Government for over two years.
“If Sussan Ley was truly serious about dementia she would outline a strategy for dealing with dementia now.
“The first step would be releasing the report into the current Government funded dementia programs, which began over 12 months ago and was due by June 2015.”
More than 342,800 Australians are living with this chronic and degenerative disease, but is expected to increase to close to one million by 2050 without a medical breakthrough.
The direct health and aged care expenditure on people with dementia is around $5 billion and will represent one per cent of GDP within the next two decades.
“If Sussan Ley was serious about dementia she would outline whether the dementia ‘flying squads’ will even get off the ground,” the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Aged Care Senator Helen Polley said.
“Rather she should utilise funding for this failed experiment and invest in supporting those in residential aged care and those who care for people with severe behaviours as a result of dementia and other conditions.
“Also, it would be helpful if Sussan Ley could explain the National Framework for Action on Dementia, mysteriously dumped onto the Department of Social Services website without reference to where it has come from, who wrote it or how it will drive policy.
“There has been no consultation with the sector in the past two years and a lot has changed in that time, including funding cuts by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.
“Dementia care has become a lower order priority under the Abbott-Turnbull Government and vulnerable and older Australians deserve better.”
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