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Howard's Aged Care Stunt - No Guarantees Of Quality Improvement12 February 2007
The HSU welcomes higher funding for the aged care sector, however John Howard's recently announced aged care package offers little comfort to staff and residents.
There is wide spread support within the aged care sector for the Federal Government's five-year funding boost, yet the HSU says it will not guarantee better standards of care.
Prime Minister John Howard visited a western Sydney nursing home last weekend to announce details of the package, which provides an extra $1.5 billion in funding over the next five years.
The funding package gives aged care providers more revenue.
Employers like Aged Care Association Australia chief executive officer, Rod Young, say the changes are extremely welcome.
"Overall it makes the industry more viable, income streams more certain and makes our planning for the future more sensible and able to be predicted," he said.
However, Health Service Union national secretary Craig Thomson says he is disappointed the funding is not tied to certain conditions.
"Things like guaranteeing that there is a minimum number of staff there to look after you when you go into an aged care facility, making sure that those staff are properly trained so they're able to look after you," he said.
"All these things were totally ignored today."
Mr Thomson labelled the funding announcement as an election stunt.
'How long can we go on without minimum staffing levels in aged care? We welcome more funding for the industry, but we want to make sure it goes where it is needed, that it is used to improve the quality of care. Not simply thrown at employers to do what they will with.'