The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) is calling on the Morrison Government to reveal the scope of the multiple private contracts to vaccinate the private aged care workforce.
In a media release 107 days ago Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said residential aged care residents and workers would be vaccinated in their facility.
In the same release Federal Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck said the ‘Australian Government would be responsible for leading the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program in the aged care sector’.
Three months later Senator Colbeck says it is a ‘shared responsibility’ and he is unable to provide data about the number of aged care workers who have received a first or second vaccine dose or none.
ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said, ‘The Morrison Government must come clean about their private aged care vaccination contracts – did they ask them to vaccinate staff?’
‘It’s like their promise to vaccinate the aged care workforce through an in-reach program in the facilities never, ever existed,’ she said, ‘Was it only ever a vaccine-dregs-for-staff arrangement?’
‘Don’t blame staff for not being vaccinated when you never told them you had no intention to vaccinate them at their workplace,’ she said.
‘The royal commission revealed the private aged care system was in crisis before the pandemic, Australia needs an aged care minister who will never be comfortable until residents and staff are properly protected from COVID-19.
‘We’re calling on Senator Colbeck to resign,’ Ms Fitzpatrick said, ‘We need a minister who gets things done with a sense of urgency, care and respect for the residents and the dedicated staff.’
‘The Morrison Government has abandoned Victoria’s private aged care nurses and personal care workers.
‘Responsibility for vaccinating the workforce, along with funding and vaccines, should have been given to the states months ago given the Morrison Government contracts appear never to have included the workforce.
‘This is what the ANMF in Victoria and around the country called for since the early days of this roll out.’