Aged Care Reform Now 2.0

Engaging with the 5 pillars reform plan is a matter of urgency but will be a marathon, not a sprint. Photo by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash

In the maelstrom of Covid 19 outbreaks, rolling lockdowns, earthquakes, bushfires, floods, mouse plagues, and a 24-hour news cycle full of political prevarication it would be easy to say…aged care is in the “too hard” basket.

However, I believe our membership, as individuals, is made of sterner stuff. Most of us have been around long enough to have decided we are sick of inaction, spin, and a lack of vision in our legislators. It is they and the public service who will make it happen, or not.

I have always been a believer in the brains trust. We each have talents that when utilised as an expert consumer group for the common good make us unstoppable. I am no Pollyanna I do not expect that change is ever easy.

Inertia and apathy are the hardest things to overcome in those with alternate agendas or no interest at all. We just have to break this gargantuan task into manageable portions and workshop each problem from all angles. By using facts, research, considered argument and making a believable economic case we can make gains.

My fear is that the public service is 6 months ahead of us along with the Federal Government’s post Royal Commission budget blueprint. So engaging with the current year items on the 5 pillars reform plan is a matter of urgency.

I see a marathon, not a sprint.  One thing I do know is that making gains with governments is a matter of persistence and just refusing to quit. Another is to tackle the decision-makers one at a time as this group has started to do.

We need to recruit public opinion via like-minded elements of the press and on social media. 

We will give Federal decision-makers no excuse not to be across the facts of the dysfunction in Aged Care delivery. We must do this with reason and respect but leave no doubt in their minds that we will exercise our influence at the ballot box.

As consumers and educated professionals, we must demand a seat at the table as an expert group

When I am tempted to sink into torpor I just need to think of my poor mother and her suffering at the hands of a system totally inept at providing the care they promised to deliver. The resulting adrenaline rush usually motivates me for days. We all need to turn our sadness distress and outrage into action.


Liz Barton


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