LETTER: Funding care Seniors in Petrie need and deserve

FEDERAL policy and funding decisions since 2014-15 have stripped $3.1 billion from Australia's aged care system. In the past 6 months alone, $1.7 billion has been unfairly cut for services to the frailest senior Australians, suffering from chronic pain, degenerative disease, severe arthritis and complex wounds.

Today, there are over 685,000 people in Queensland aged over 65, including those seniors in the seat of Petrie. In 10 years, this figure is projected to increase to over 960,000 an increase of 41 per cent. This is no surprise, yet there is an ongoing failure by Governments to properly plan for, and fund aged care services to meet this demand, and deliver services that meet the acuity needs of seniors receiving aged care services.

In the face of this future capacity demand, and the increasing complexity of the care that seniors need as they live longer, the current Coalition Government in its first term has responded to these challenges by stripping $3.1 billion from aged care funding. The Coalition Parties are yet to announce their aged care vision should they be re-elected on 2 July.

Despite condemning the latest cuts when they were announced, the Labor Party has now said it will not reverse them if it forms government after 2 July. Unless it is prepared to categorically rule out introducing these cuts, its condemnation will be of little comfort to the frail, elderly people who will be affected.

LASA is calling on sitting member Luke Howarth (Liberal National Party) to appeal to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - to reverse the savage cuts. We also call on candidates - Jacqui Pedersen (Labor) and Sue Weber (The Greens) to appeal to the Leaders of their respective parties - and reverse the $3.1 billion of cuts to aged care imposed by the current Government.

The seniors in Petrie, and seniors Australia wide deserve to be treated with respect, and deserve to have effective treatment, and pain management, properly funded.

All the candidates contesting the 2016 election in Petrie need to understand the scale of the challenge, and that they must not be silent. The elected member for Petrie post the 2016 Federal election must advocate for, and deliver for the seniors in Petrie today and into the future.

Barry Ashcroft
Chief Executive Officer
Leading Age Services Australia - Queensland


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