Protesters will gather outside the Dawson MP’s office to demand that at least one registered nurse be present at all private elderly care facilities at all times.
Beth Mohle, secretary for the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union, said George Christensen’s office is one of seven between Cairns and Brisbane that was targeted as part of the union’s day of action on Monday.
The rally comes as the final report of a 28-month Royal Commission in Aged Care was passed to the Prime Minister on Friday.
« The QNMU and all Australians are waiting for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response to the crisis in Australian private elderly care, » said Ms. Mohle.
« As we wait, elderly Australians continue to suffer from chronic and systematic understaffing of private elderly care facilities. All federal politicians should be held accountable for their positions in protecting vulnerable elderly Australians. »
« We’re not going to allow another elderly care review to be put on the shelf to collect dust. We want a commitment to action now. »
Ms. Mohle said the union is calling for the law to be strengthened so that there must always be at least one nurse on site.
« Unlike (at) childcare or hospitals, there are no federal laws that specify how private elderly care facilities should be staffed, » she said.
QNMU organizer Auriel Robinson said Mr. Christensen had « been worryingly silent » in a constituency of more than 31,000 voters aged 60 and over.
« Mr. Christensen also failed to sign the QNMU’s pledge to pass a secure personnel law in elderly care, » said Robinson.
« The Royal Commission has issued its recommendations. Our politicians must act now to protect the tens of thousands of elderly Australians in their care. »
The QNMU said Australia has around 900 private geriatric carers who have received more than $ 6 billion in tax dollars in recent years.
« You don’t have to publicly report how the funds are being spent, » it said.
« Queensland’s largest private geriatric carers, including BlueCare, TriCare and Bolton Clarke, actually cut headcount or hours during COVID-19.
« The QNMU has reported these and many other matters to the federal government, but no action is believed to have been taken.
« The QNMU and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation are calling for the introduction of mandatory minimum staff and the required mix of skills and qualifications in every residential facility during every shift. »
All private elderly care facilities in Mackay are accredited by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
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