Queensland’s aged care crisis prompts phone-in
GYMPIE region residents are being urged to pick up the phone and have a say about the state of aged care in Queensland.
Queensland Nurses' Union secretary Beth Mohle said shockingly inadequate staffing levels and pending federal budget cuts had prompted the QNU to host a state-wide phone-in on the issue.
Ms Mohle said elderly aged care residents, their families, frontline nurses, nursing assistants and all interested parties were urged to call the QNU between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, June 18.
Similar phone-ins will be held with nursing unions in all Australian states and territories via the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) on this day.
"It is very clear there is insufficient attention being paid to concerns in aged care and Queensland's elderly are suffering as a result,'' Ms Mohle said.
"The situation is already dire, however unprecedented $1.2 billion Federal budget cuts will see funding for some residents with high care needs drop from $46 a day per resident, to just $16 per resident.
"With the system already under such significant pressure, we fear these cuts will put the lives of vulnerable elderly Australians at risk. We are calling on Queensland's aged care staff, residents and their families to pick up the phone and tell us their stories.''
QNU volunteers will staff the phones and ensure all concerns, suggestions and stories are noted. Media are invited to attend the phone-in at QNU Headquarters in West End, Brisbane and a summary of findings will be made available soon after the phone-in is completed.
"We all know and love someone in aged care. These elderly residents have complex health conditions yet they are not receiving anywhere near the required clinical care,'' Ms Mohle said.
"In most aged care facilities it's not uncommon to see one Registered Nurse (RN) to 100 patients. Overnight there are sometimes no qualified nursing staff on site at all.''
She said there was a real need to shine a light on this important issue and a mass discussion would help force political parties to properly address community concerns ahead of the July 2 election. An online questionnaire can also be completed on-line at www.anmf.org.au and www.icareandivote.com.au
TO PHONE-IN: 07 3840 1444 or Toll free (outside Brisbane) 1800 177 273