MEDIA RELEASE: National Aged Care Alliance commends Labor for indicating its aged care priorities, calls on the Government to announce its plans

The National Aged Care Alliance (NACA), a coalition of 52 national organisations in aged care, commends Labor for committing to invest in the aged care workforce, however is disappointed by the lack of real and decisive action by both major parties to get aged care right for everyone.

The 2019 NACA Age Well campaign called on politicians to ensure equity of access for all older Australians and invest in a highly skilled aged care workforce that can deliver timely, safe, inclusive and appropriate aged care both now and into the future.

Recent analysis released by the Age Well campaign reveals Australia will need 100,000 new aged care workers over the next four years to meet the growing demands of Australia’s ageing population.

In its position statement on aged care, Labor outlines its intention to support the future aged care workforce and improve the quality of aged care across residential, nursing and home settings.

CEO of Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), Patricia Sparrow welcomed Labor’s stated commitment to addressing critical workforce issues but raised concern there was not a broader commitment to take action on overall sector sustainability from either major party.

“Speeding up the workforce strategy’s implementation, investing in 20,000 new aged care TAFE training places and funding scholarships for dementia-specific nurses are welcome and important. But the aged care sector needs an explicit understanding of how the ALP, and the Liberals/Nationals, intend to fund the very real problems and challenges currently facing the aged care sector.”

Chief Executive of COTA Australia, Ian Yates, “welcomed Labor’s commitment to staffing and transparency but said the next Government must eliminate the 125,000 strong wait list in home care.

“COTA strongly welcomes increased transparency on staffing skills mix and the ALP’s commitment to exploring how to improve home care worker staffing levels and for its recognition of diverse populations and their unique needs.

“However after two years condemning the ever growing waitlist we are extremely disappointed at the lack of explicit funds committed to extra home care packages.

“The stark reality is that we are simply running out of time when it comes to home care – people are literally dying while they wait to receive the package the Government’s own assessment told them they need,” said Mr Yates.