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Federal Government must do more to protect aged care residents and staff during Covid crisis

Release date: 16 Sep 2021

As the deadline approaches for all residential aged care workers to have received their first dose of covid vaccine, Aged and Community Services Australia is calling for additional measures from the Federal Government to achieve full vaccine coverage and improve protection for residents, families and staff.

ACSA wants the Federal Government to focus on four additional priorities:

  • Ensure there is a robust process in place to support any aged care homes who haven’t achieved 100% staff vaccinations by the deadline;

  • Turn attention to ensuring second doses are administered to all residential care staff who need them;

  • Improve protection even further by supporting uptake of Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) by aged care homes; and

  • Help boost vaccination rates among home care staff to better protect the more than 1 million older Australians using home care and home support services.


ACSA CEO Paul Sadler said “While the Federal Government has ultimate responsibility for the program to vaccinate residential aged care workers, providers are working very hard to meet the deadline and our staff are responding very positively.  We are confident that we will achieve very high rates of vaccination and that this will help protect our frailest members of society.

“Covid doesn’t take a break and we need to learn, adapt and develop our strategies for protecting aged care residents, their families and workers. This is the time for greater leadership and direction from government.

“We need urgent plans for supporting aged care facilities who don’t achieve the mandatory first vaccination target by the deadline and ensuring all residents continue to receive the best possible care.

“The government must also make clear arrangements for getting the second dose of the covid vaccine out to all residential care staff who require them and boosting vaccination rates among home care staff and older people living at home who may have issues accessing vaccines.

“In addition to the immediate challenges of this pandemic, this crisis and the recommendations of the Royal Commission are an unprecedented opportunity for reforming our aged care system and providing better care for older Australians.

“Australia can build back better and investment in aged care is key for creating a stronger economy and society,” he said.

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0455 111 593

 

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia

 

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