Two years ago, Scott Morrison called the Royal Commission into aged care. Today, older Australians dealing with the broken system have nothing to celebrate
Scott Morrison promised that his Government would not wait for the Royal Commission’s report to improve the aged care system.
However, the devastating evidence shows the system is worse than ever.
Tragically, more than 600 older Australians have died from COVID-19 while in aged care facilities, with the Royal Commission’s Senior Counsel Assisting, Peter Rozen QC, laying blame at the Government’s feet.
Last month he said the Government did not have a comprehensive plan for the aged care sector going into the pandemic and continues to be unprepared and ill-equipped.
The sad reality is the COVID-19 death toll in our aged care facilities does not tell the whole story.
Aged care residents are in lockdown across Ipswich and much of south east Queensland. There are reports of residents losing the will to live while they are cut off from family and the wider community. The wider cost of this pandemic on our vulnerable older people may remain unknown for some time.
When Scott Morrison called the Royal Commission, more than 100,000 older Australians were on waiting lists for home care. Two years later, 100,000 people are still waiting.
What has increased are complaints and reported assaults. Evidence suggests assaults are more likely to be 50,000 a year – 10 times more than the reported 5,000 or more.
In response to this terrible evidence, Scott Morrison simply rejects the Royal Commission’s reporting and advice.
The Royal Commission’s interim report, which called for urgent action on the home care waiting list, was called “Neglect”.
How can we be expected to trust the Morrison Government to respond to the Royal Commission’s final report in February 2021 when he rejects the findings and refuses to take any action now.
Neglect. That’s the legacy of this Government when it comes to aged care.
Our older loved ones deserve so much more.