Nurses slam Tony Abbott’s aged-care plan

Posted on August 1, 2010


Tony Abbott in trouble with the Nurses, with his current policy !!

by APP

NURSES have slammed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s plan to make more aged-care beds available, saying it will result in a crisis in the sector.

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) says a policy which pledges to make more beds available must also include measures aimed at boosting nurse numbers.

Mr Abbott has promised a $935 million package that would free up 3000 beds for high-care aged-care patients. The program would begin immediately if Mr Abbott was elected, with funding of $90 million for incentive payments to nursing home operators.

Nursing home operators would receive $30,000 for each bed in an attempt to push them to make allocated places available. Ongoing costs would be $355 million over four years.

But ANF federal assistant secretary Yvonne Chaperon said the $30,000 per bed incentive payment ignored the often complex health needs of aged care residents.

“Beds without more nurses or a strategy to get more nurses into aged care, will create a crisis in the aged-care sector,” Ms Chaperon said.

“There is no detail about how that money is to be spent by the providers. The $30,000 per bed must be tied to the nursing care of that resident, not left to the discretion of providers to spend where they want.”

Mr Abbott also promised to spend $14 million on pets as therapies programs to help community organisations train dogs and cats to go into nursing homes.

Ms Chaperon said it was clear Mr Abbott, a former health minister, and the Coalition did not understand the basics of aged care.

“This is a simplistic attempt to throw $935 million dollars of money at the aged-care sector without considering all of the health and care needs of residents,” she said.

“This shows that Mr Abbott does not have an understanding of the aged-care industry in Australia.”

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