ANMF (Vic Branch) has called for state and territory governments to take over residential aged care following a Victorian budget which provided a $40 million kick start to implement nurse: resident ratios in Victorian private aged care facilities.
The Andrews Government will contribute the $40m towards minimum staff-to-resident ratios in private aged care if the Federal Government, as the regulator and funder of aged care, also comes to the table.
Victorian public aged care facilities already have nurse: resident ratios under the Safe Patient Care Act but private aged care homes, regulated by the Federal Government, do not.
The Andrews Government’s contribution would cover the clinical student training placement costs for of the extra registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers required for any implementation of ratios.
The Diploma of Nursing and Cert III in Individual Support and Cert IV in Ageing Support will also continue to be included on the Free TAFE courses list, to encourage the expansion of the aged care workforce.
ANMF (Vic Branch) wants the Federal Government to hand over the funding to the Victorian Government so it can run all nursing homes in the state, so they are integrated with public and private health services, have safe clinical governance, standards, infection control measures in place. In addition it would lead to greater transparency and accountability in relation to how providers spend taxpayers money.
ANMF (Victorian Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said: ‘The brutal lessons of COVID-19 tell us Victorians need one integrated health system.’
There were 655 COVID-19 related deaths of Victorian private aged care residents and no deaths in public aged care. During Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 infections, several private aged care homes had to be taken over by nursing staff from hospitals who worked almost 5,000 shifts, due to staff becoming infected or furloughed or patients in private aged care facilities requiring additional care.
ANMF (Vic Branch) welcomed the Andrews Government’s 2020–21 budget announcement of further investment in public aged care with $134.6 million for a dementia-friendly, 150-bed residential aged care facility in Cheltenham, attached to Monash Health. Another $900,000 will be spent on designing and planning a 90-bed public aged care facility in Coburg.