Time to shine a light on whole aged sector

Wednesday 11 September, 2019

More transparency is needed to ensure elderly Queenslanders are looked after in world-class aged care facilities, LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said today.

Ms Bates said the appalling events at the Earle Haven retirement home should be fully investigated – along with the allegations of serious abuse in homes run by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“The events at Earle Haven were a tragedy that should never happen again,” Ms Bates said.

“The LNP supports the Federal Aged Care Royal Commission and we support the Carnell Inquiry into Earle Haven.

“There have been disturbing failures in the system that will only be fixed by more transparency and less political grand-standing.

“We need to take the politics out of this issue and focus on better care and improving the system.

“I would hope that all levels of government can work together in the interest elderly Queenslanders, without the blame game that we have seen from the Palaszczuk Labor Government.”

Ms Bates said Health Minister Steven Miles had jumped on the Earle Haven disaster to score cheap political points, despite a raft of complaints about abuse and neglect at state-run facilities. 

Only last month, the ABC reported that police had been called to a state-run care home to investigate a complaint of excessive force being used against an elderly resident with a cognitive impairment.

Another resident made a complaint about allegations of sexual assault.

“The details of these issues were obtained by the media under RTI, showing 16 serious complaints raised with Queensland Health in 2018,” Ms Bates said.

“Yet despite that, Steven Miles has refused to say where these complaints were made.

“No one knows if it was one complaint at 16 state-run care homes or 16 complaints at one home.

“I wrote to the Health Committee almost a month ago asking that state-run aged care facilities be included in the Earle Haven inquiry and the silence in response has been deafening.

“We agree with the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union that there needs to be greater transparency, but that should also include state-run aged care facilities, otherwise it’s just another Labor cover-up. 

“I’ve also written to Health Minister Steven Miles asking for permission to visit 14 of the 16 state-run aged care facilities that I haven’t managed to visit yet and there has been no response to that either.

“We want a world-class aged care system, but my concern is this Health Minister is more interested in political games than patient care.”

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