Home Media Resources Bishop Plays Politics While Residents and Staff Suffer Jan 8 2004
Bishop Plays Politics While Residents and Staff Suffer Jan 8 2004
The Health Services Union today called on the Federal Minister for Ageing Julie Bishop to stop playing politics and get on with fixing the terrible problems in the nationís nursing homes.
HSU National Secretary Craig Thomson said it defied belief that Ms Bishop could put out a statement criticising Labor for listening to aged care workers about the problems in the sector.
"Ms Bishop is already showing a disturbing lack of understanding and knowledge of the sector to say that introducing minimum staffing levels, as the HSU has been calling for, would not improve the care and safety of residents," Mr Thomson said.
"To save money her government has taken away any minimum staffing levels. That means across the country you have widespread understaffing. Having one lowly-paid worker looking after 70 residents or more alone at night is all too common now.
"You cannot let nursing homes that may go three years without inspection decide for themselves how few staff they can get away with.
"That is compromising the care and safety of thousands of aged care residents and the staff who are doing their best to look after them.
"Minimum staffing levels are not about one size fits all or taking away the flexibility to adjust staffing levels according to the care needs of residents.
"It is about putting in a minimum level that no home can go below so that there is a basic guarantee of care for residents and their families.
"At the moment homes are getting away in some cases without even having anyone working at night to look after residents. If that happened in a hospital it would be a nationwide scandal.
"The government is not listening to aged care workers and the families of residents who want to know that their relatives are going to be properly looked after.
"Cut-price aged care might be fine for Ms Bishop but it is unacceptable to aged care workers."
Health Services Union of Australia
Ph: 03 93413328
Fax: 03 93413329