Labor has again written to the Morrison Government calling for more action to address concerning failures in Victorian nursing homes and to ensure aged care across the country is ready for any future outbreaks of COVID-19.
The Commonwealth has responsibility for aged care and the Prime Minister cannot again be left flat footed if there are further outbreaks in aged care in other states and territories.
Labor is calling on the Morrison Government to urgently implement a national plan of action for COVID-19 in aged care:
- The Morrison Government must negotiate and establish protocols with other state and territory governments that would allow an aged care response centre to be stood up immediately.
- The Morrison Government must expand and provide greater training opportunities for aged care workers in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control practices.
- The Morrison Government must open up the retention bonus eligibility to all aged care workers in recognition of their heroic effort on the frontline of our fight against COVID-19.
At almost every step of the growing outbreaks of COVID-19 in nursing homes the Morrison Government has been behind the eight ball with tragic consequences.
Further concerning evidence that emerged in the Select Committee on COVID-19 sadly showed how badly prepared the Morrison Government was.
How is it acceptable that less than one in three aged care workers have completed the Morrison Government’s training modules in infection control and how to use PPE?
It is clear the Morrison Government was unprepared for outbreaks of COVID-19 in aged care and this must change.
Given Victoria’s experiences it is vitally important the Morrison Government is well placed and prepared to deal with further outbreaks if they occur.
Scott Morrison must now make sure aged care homes throughout the rest of Australia are ready for any new outbreaks. He must do better for our most vulnerable older Australians.
The Morrison Government must learn from the past few months and act to prevent further outbreaks in the aged care system.