Monday, February 7, 2011

Aged Care Bonds Must Be Capped - Australian Nursing Federation

Australian Nursing FederationImage via Wikipedia
The Australian Nursing Federation says media reports of aged care residents paying up to $2 million in bonds highlights the urgent need for reforms that ensure equity of access and quality of care.

ANF federal secretary Lee Thomas said the reports allude to the competitive nature of the current system with differing levels of quality and care offered by residential facilities.

"When you hear about some people paying up to $2 million in bonds to secure a place in a residential aged care facility that is reputed to have good staff levels and infrastructure it rings alarm bells. Bonds should be capped to ensure some level of equity."

Ms Thomas said the current review of the aged care system must ensure all older Australians have access to high quality nursing care in accommodation that is comfortable and structurally sound.

"The major concern we have with the recent Productivity Commission report is the fixation on financial matters and the lack of attention to staffing and skills mix.

"While we all recognise the need for adequate funding for bricks and mortar and the need for people to contribute to the cost of their care if they can, we also want a safety net for those who can't afford to pay," Ms Thomas said.

One of the key issues in guaranteeing equity in access and care lies in addressing the staffing and working conditions in the sector, according to the ANF.

"We don't want to end up with a system that provides high quality care for those who can afford to pay and an inferior service for those who can't."

Australian Nursing Federation

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