Catholic Health Australia
Australia’s largest grouping of not-for-profit health and aged care today welcomed the Federal Government’s $2.4 billion package to protect the community from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and said the measures for the aged care sector were a good first step.
Catholic Health Australia said the $101.2 million package for aged care providers to help hire and train extra staff to work in residential care facilities that need additional assistance was a sensible measure.
However, Catholic Health Australia Chief Executive Pat Garcia said the Government must be prepared to go further if the containment strategy fails and the coronavirus hits a large number of homes.
“Our members will welcome this targeted approach to dealing with the problem and we will be seeking more detail on how it plans to roll out the program.
“This is a good initial step but at this stage we just don’t know if that is going to be enough to protect the 282,000 Australians who are currently in residential aged care. We hope the Government will keep an open mind when it comes to the level of funding required to deal with a major outbreak in Australia’s aged care homes.”
Mr Garcia added: “This is welcome funding for a sector that has been facing significant pressure over a sustained period of time and which the Government must address soon rather than later.”
Catholic aged care homes, which operate 25,000 residential aged care beds, have been on high alert for some weeks, implementing infection control measures and warning staff and visitors to be hyper-vigilant about symptoms.