Thursday, 5 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Eighty days ago I asked the Prime Minister, 'How many registered aged-care facilities do not have a registered nurse on site 24 hours a day?' The Prime Minister said he would give me an answer, but he never did. Why can't the Prime Minister be truthful?
I thank the member for a reminder about this matter, and I will take that matter up and ensure that we get an answer back. In those past 80 days, as the member will know, the government received the interim report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety—
Mr Albanese interjecting—
I take the interjection from the Leader of the Opposition. What was reported in that report is very distressing. As that report reflected, this deals with issues that have been endemic in the aged-care sector over a very long period of time. The government are seeking to address the challenges in aged care, which are significant and substantial. We are seeking to do that in a bipartisan way in this place and to work with all members, who I'm absolutely sure will understand the sensitivity of looking after our parents and our elderly loved ones as they go in to aged-care facilities.
In our response to that aged-care interim report, we have done three things. We have addressed the very issues that they have raised. We have increased the number of places for in-home aged care. We have not just increased them through an increased funding response with almost half a billion dollars but reformed the very system that delivers in-home aged-care places. We have also addressed the issue of chemical restraints that are used in aged-care facilities, and I commend the Minister for Health for the work that he is doing with the sector and also with the pharmaceuticals industry and with the Pharmacy Guild. This is a very important issue, and they will continue to address those matters. Thirdly was addressing the very real issue of young people who are going into aged-care facilities. The truth is that that figure has fallen under our government. It's fallen, I think, by about 600 from when we came to government. That is important, and we are reducing the flow of young people going into aged-care places. We're doing that by making sure we can get the investment into proper accommodation facilities for those young people.
I note those interjecting and screaming out—they're an angry lot today—but this is a very serious issue. If the opposition are prepared to work with the government to ensure we address the reforms coming out of the royal commission then we're very happy to do that. We certainly did that with the Labor Party when they were in government, when they were addressing very important aged-care reforms. We supported them. I would invite them to engage with us on this issue rather than dealing with it in a partisan way.
Mr Perrett interjecting —