The stories emerging about several aged care facilities closing down, including the Currawarna facility run by Southern Cross Care in Bombala, due to ongoing staffing shortages going to financial viability have been deeply concerning. The Morrison Government is working hard to ease the pressure of staff shortages in the health and aged care sector.
Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan said the closure of the privately run facilities is tough for remote communities like Bombala, but the Morrison Government is committed to delivering better aged care services for senior Australians in the bush.
“These private facilities are not run by the Federal Government but that doesn’t matter. Our rural and regional communities deserve to have access to top health care and aged care, and we will do everything to take care of residents and staff in these homes.
“The Morrison Government is aware of the problems that Bombala faces in relation to closing the Aged Care facility. That is why our Government is continuing to provide as much targeted assistance as possible, with additional funding and the deployment of 1,700 Australian Defence Force personnel to fill in the gaps,” Senator Molan said.
To date, surge workforce providers commissioned by the Morrison Government have helped fill more than 80,000 shifts.
In addition to surge workforce measures, the Morrison Government has announced a range of initiatives to attract and retain workers to the aged care sector including the Aged Care Transition to Practice Program, a Workforce Advisory Service, an Aged Care Registered Nurses’ Payment and a Home Care Workforce Support Program.
“We understand that everyone affected by the closure of the facilities will be found a place to go to and many, apparently, wish to go and live at home. That is why the Government has prioritised Home Care packages by adding 80,000 more packages,” Senator Molan said.
By June 2023, there will be around 275,600 home care packages available to senior Australians. This is an increase of 365 per cent since June 2012, where there were only 59,300 home care packages available.
Additional support announced earlier this month will also see around 265,000 aged care workers benefit from an $800 bonus.