House debates

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Vaccination

2:36 pm

Photo of Ged KearneyGed Kearney (Cooper, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Australians in aged care and disability care were meant to be vaccinated by Easter so they would be protected by the start of winter. But according to the government's COVID Vaccination Allocations Horizons document, vaccinations of these most vulnerable Australians will not be completed until the end of winter. Isn't this an admission of abject failure by this government?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] I'll ask the Minister for Health and Aged Care to respond.

2:37 pm

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Minister for Health and Aged Care) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you to the Prime Minister. As I just mentioned, 100 per cent of residential aged-care facilities around Australia have received first doses and 99.1 per cent of facilities have received second doses, as we look around Australia. In particular, with regard to residents, we encourage all families to provide consent to those members of their families who are in aged-care facilities. As part of that, one of the things we're doing goes in particular to the member for Cooper's point. Whilst we have made sure that first and second doses are available around the country—100 per cent of facilities and 99.1 per cent of second doses, with the remaining ones to be completed over the course of the coming days—we are continuing to ensure that every person has access if they do change their mind or if their circumstances have changed. That's why we've done a number of things. We've ensured that there's ongoing work in the aged-care facilities, in terms of inreach clinics which have been occurring around the country. In addition to that, we have created a new item for GPs: an in-home visitation fee of $56.75. That means that they have an additional support, over and above the payment for the vaccinations themselves, to attend facilities, whether that's a private home of an elderly resident who is unable to move or to go to a vaccination clinic in one way, shape or form, or whether it's a disability home or an aged-care facility. In addition to that—and this relates to a question asked by the member for Hindmarsh last week—we have also contracted providers such as TLC, who have vaccinated their own residents and their own staff, to offer such services to other clinics. Then there is a fourth element in terms of inreach, where many facilities are choosing to provide vaccination for those residents who were unable or unwilling to take up vaccination during the first round.