Thursday, 13 February 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Health. The median waiting time for the highest level of approved home care packages is almost three years, and the aged-care royal commission found that people who waited more than six months for a home care package had a 20 per cent higher risk of death. Why on earth are older Australians facing a three-year delay when the minister knows that it increases their risk of death?
I want to thank the member for her question. The royal commission did make findings, and we responded—and we responded rapidly. That included 10,000 additional home care places, which has been part of a 44,000-place increase in the last year and a half and a tiny bit more. We have taken the number of home care places from 60,000 when we came to office to 150,000 now. That is a 150 per cent increase. That is a dramatic increase in the number of home care places.
I know that at the last election the opposition had a chance to contribute to the number of home care places, and they provided zero home care places. We have added 44,000 home care places in the last two years and increased the number of home care places by 150 per cent, and they added zero at the very moment they had a chance to take a stand and to invest a dollar. At the time, they were raising $387 billion in taxes and they provided not one extra home care place—zero. We have increased the number of home care places by 150 per cent. They had a chance only a few months ago to do this. At a time when we had called a royal commission, when they knew that there were important—
An opposition member interjecting—