Australia’s aged care system has been described as “a shocking tale of neglect”, a system designed around “transactions and not relationships or care”, reveals the Royal Commission into Aged Care’s interim report.
“It is a sad and shocking system that diminishes Australia as a nation,” Commissioners Richard Tracey and Lynelle Briggs noted.
“The neglect that we have found in this Royal Commission, to date, is far from the best that can be done.”
The interim report, titled Neglect, was tabled in the Australian Parliament on Thursday, and called for a “fundamental overhaul” of the design, objectives, regulation and funding of Australia’s aged care system.
Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck said the problems raised in the interim report had “challenged governments”.
“We are shocked by the stories that have arisen,” he said.
Aged care is a $20 billion-plus industry in Australia, and also one of the country’s fastest growing sectors.
The extent of the failure, the commissioners note, includes the difficulty in access to aged care services, service shortfalls, a “dispiriting nature” of residential care, serious substandard care, an underpaid, undervalued and insufficiently trained workforce, and isolation of young people with disabilities in aged care service.