Solid foundations laid for aged care reform

The National Tribune, 27 July 2022

The Health Services Union welcomes Minister Anika Wells’ introduction of two aged care bills that represent an important step forward after nine years of abject neglect.

The laws, which arise from the Royal Commission, introduce staff time standards to promote high-quality, person-centred care. They also give effect to the Australian National Aged Care Classification care model funding and other essential measures, such as star ratings, financial oversight and improved provider governance.

HSU National President, Gerard Hayes said the laws were an important step forward.

“After a decade of abject neglect the first pillars of decency are being laid,” Mr Hayes said. “While there is a pressing need to continue developing care models and staffing standards that incorporate a wider range of occupations, such as allied health professionals, the HSU acknowledges the Government has taken a significant first step in implementing the Royal Commission recommendation for staff time standards.

“Our industry will not be fixed overnight and will require significantly greater resources. But we are confident Minister Wells is headed in the right direction.

“For too long, the aged care system has exploited the time and goodwill of an underpaid, insecurely employed workforce largely made up of women. For the first time there is a crack of light at the end of the tunnel.

“HSU will engage at every opportunity as these bills progresses through parliament and make sure the voice of the workforce is continually heard.”