The government will have both interim responses and fuller responses in coming months to the reporting of the Royal Commission into Aged Care. Let me say at the outset that I could not be more proud and supportive of my local Aged Care providers in the Monash electorate. They do an exemplary job. They are local people employed to support local older Australians. Clearly there have been failings within the Aged Care sector, and reforms are much needed.
However, in my opinion this is not just a matter of blindly accepting the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission without consideration and consultation with those at the coal face. They will be instructive in helping the government avoid unintentional consequences arising from any recommendation from the Commission that we implement.
This nation will be judged on how we support our most vulnerable, be they very young or very old or anywhere in between. We should take pride in our offering of aged care experience. It should not be a matter of out of sight, out of mind. Aged care should be another stage in life lived to the full, with the help and support of government, services and family.
It is essential that everyone, including government, should view aged care as a compassionate partnership. If this is our goal, and I’m sure for all involved it will be, then the experiences etched into the volumes of the Royal Commission and its subsequent recommendations, through painful, will be of benefit to every older Australian needing care now and into the future. It’s up to us to take the Royal Commission recommendations as an opportunity…and perhaps out greatest opportunity…,- to give elderly Australians the respect and care they deserve.
That’s just as I see it.