Anger over aged care
NURSING home campaigners and MPs are fuming the Bundaberg region has been ignored in the Federal Government's latest round of aged care beds and community care packages, and have warned of a looming crisis.
Jim Filmer, who was a member of the now-defunct Bargara nursing home steering committee, said the needs of the ageing region were being overlooked.
"If the Federal Government thinks their Ageing in Place campaign is working, they're wrong," he said.
Mr Filmer said there was still not a single nursing home bed in Bargara.
"They've done absolutely nothing," he said.
In a joint statement yesterday, Member for Hinkler Paul Neville and Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said uncertainty in the aged care sector would reach crisis point and be felt for years to come.
"The Gillard Labor Government has failed to allocate a single aged care bed or community care package across the Bundaberg, Burnett, Fraser Coast and Cooloola regions, in the 2011 Aged Care round," Mr Truss said.
"Aged care providers no longer have any confidence that the places they offer will be commercially viable, so it seems that they have stopped applying for them."
Mr Truss said there were 10,493 residential aged care beds available nationwide this year, but only 7933 applications were received.
"It is unbelievable that in an area with an ageing population that not one aged care bed or community care package was offered," Mr Neville said.
He said in the 2011 round, up to 180 aged care beds were up for grabs in the Wide Bay region, but not a single one was allocated.
A spokeswoman for Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler said the government recognised there was a need to reform the aged care sector and had commissioned a Productivity Commission inquiry to review it.
The government was in the process of responding to the commission's recommendations.