PLEASE SUPPORT Monash community

Say NO to Council sell-off of aged care

Save Monash Gardens AND Elizabeth Gardens. Join them 24 September 2013: Download flyer

Private ownership of aged-care beds licensed in Australia is now at over 52% - and rising.

The primary focus of private or market-listed entities is the highest possible return on owner’s investment. This is the reason for entry into the retirement and aged-care sectors. Private equity groups are probably even more aggressively focused on short term profitability.

Providers, particularly those looking to make good returns on capital funds, will always seek the means to reduce overhead costs, foremost among which are to employ the minimal number of people.

Monash Council have largely neglected the critical issues of selling council owned aged-care facilities which, selling off to non-government related entities, would expose residents health and well-being to the vagaries of the open market.

Many people are shocked to learn there are no mandated staff/resident ratios (or skills) in aged care under the Aged Care Act 1997. In fact, only two lines in the Act are allocated to this, the most vital aspect of care provision, that there must be an "adequate number of appropriately trained staff":

It has recently come to our attention that some facilities may even run with no staff at all on duty for considerable amounts of time:

ACC believes that caring for frail, older people is a collective and community responsibility which guards and protects the welfare of one of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

This view is at odds with current policies whereby aged-care services are open to the market economy, and frail old people are traded, or sold off to the highest bidder.

We therefore deplore the current move towards placing the well-being of our family members at the mercy of privatisation or market forces, and strongly oppose the sale of Monash Council facilities, Monash Gardens and Elizabeth Gardens.

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