The Greens say that Australians are losing confidence in the aged care sector and that the Federal Government should stop at nothing to protect the most vulnerable Australians in aged care. This includes ensuring pandemic funding for all aged care workers if they need it.
“We keep hearing this narrative blaming workers for coming to work sick but the Federal Government is not taking enough action to ensure that workers are able to afford to stay home if they are sick,” Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“This outbreak is highlighting years of Governments failures to adequately fund and support the aged care system, particularly when it comes to the workforce.
“It’s unacceptable for workers to not be properly supported.
“Prevention is better than cure. We should not wait for there to be similar outbreaks across other states before the Government commits to funding pandemic leave for all workers in aged care facilities.
“If the Government had acted on the numerous reports in regards to the aged care workforce over years and years then we may not be in such a crisis. If the recommended amount of care was being provided and more health care workers such as nurses where a greater part of the care team we might see a different picture - these issues need to be addressed urgently.
“The Federal Government can help employers meet the costs. It would be money well spent and in fact money that should have been invested years ago.
“The Government must act to immediately double the hours of care provided to residents.
“The situation is becoming worse with families even more worried and anxious because they are not getting clear communications from aged care homes about what is going on with their family members. Each aged care facility needs to provide a clear point of contact and keep family constantly updated.
“The Greens will push our bill for 14 days paid COVID-19 sick leave when Parliament resumes.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180