ANMF federal secretary, Annie Butler, has called on the Morrison government to work with nursing unions to fix the crisis in aged care.
“Since the start of the pandemic the ANMF has written and been in contact with aged care minister, Richard Colbeck, on at least eight occasions, offering our help and advice on the mounting issues plaguing the sector, particularly around inadequate staffing, shortages of PPE and other workforce support measures,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the government has not responded and has not implemented actions, which may have provided better protections for elderly Australians.
“The untold grief and trauma that too many have already had to experience cannot be undone, but the government has the power, and the responsibility, to take our advice and act immediately on our action plan.”
The plan includes:
- No more cuts to nursing and care.
- Ensure sufficient numbers of qualified staff with the right skills mix and mandate minimum nursing/care hours, to properly prepare a suitably skilled workforce in the event of further infection outbreaks.
- Ensure enough PPE and clear guidance, education and training for all aged care staff.
- Guarantee paid pandemic leave for all workers who need to stay home because they need to get tested and self-isolate due to exposure to COVID-19 or they’re feeling unwell.