In a move that will see the Abbott Government’s shameful record for mishandling aged care issues repeated, Malcolm Turnbull has neglected to appoint anyone with direct responsibility for ageing.
Senator Polley says that the former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott should have never dumped the almost $16 billion a year Ageing portfolio onto an Assistant Minister also responsible for the rollout of the NDIS.
“Former Assistant Minister, Mitch Fifield was incapable of giving ageing the attention it deserves and oversaw a number of chaotic, reactive and often ideologically driven decisions,” Senator Polley said.
“Mitch Fifield cannot dodge ageing in his new role as Minister for Communication and will be held responsible for ensuring older Australians have access to fast, reliable, medical-grade broadband to enable new technologies in aged care services.”
More of us are living longer than ever before and this demographic shift reinforces a growing need for adequate care and support for older Australians.
“The Abbott Government failed to realise that no amount of cost cutting would actually address these needs,” Senator Polley said.
“Part of the solution rests in leveraging the opportunities of innovation and technology.”
“Technological advancements such as telehealth would provide an opportunity to keep people at home longer, to dramatically reduce the costs associated with an ageing population and to improve the wellbeing of older Australians and those living in remote, rural and regional communities.”
It is up to the new Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter to do his part and give ageing the attention and priority lacking under the previous Social Services Minister and Assistant Minister.
Older Australians, people living with dementia and the aged care sector will suffer if the Turnbull Government continues to ignore the growing issues in ageing.
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