Elderly waiting six months for aged care
AS WAITING lists for entry into aged care homes blows out to an unacceptable six months, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt has laid the blame squarely at the feet of the State Government.
Mr Pitt said constituents and aged care providers had contacted his office to express their concerns at delays in Aged Care Assessment Team reviews being completed within the recommended timeframes.
But Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson said every effort was made to assess people for aged care services in a timely way, but the Federal Government had cut $216.6 million over four years from aged care from Queensland.
Speaking in parliament last week, Mr Pitt rose to address the issue of ACAT assessments in his electorate.
He told parliament that some years ago he had warned that the level of ACAT assessments in his electorate was "not high enough” and that it was taking far too long for people who were in very difficult circumstances.
"The waiting list, at the moment, has moved out to as long as six months,” Mr Pitt said.
"Six months is completely unacceptable to me.”
"I say to the Labor government in Queensland: just because we are in a regional area, that should not matter; get yourself sorted.”
Ms Donaldson said the Federal Government was responsible for the funding and regulation of aged care service throughout Australia including the requirements regarding aged care assessments.
"Queensland is already affected by the lack of Commonwealth-funded aged care places and with an ageing population, any shortage of aged care services is likely to exacerbate the issue,” she said.
Mr Pitt told parliament, government funding for aged care in Hinkler had increased by almost $3.7 million from 2014-15 to 2015-16.
"I have been advised that Queensland Health is working with ACAT teams to improve the timeliness and quality of assessments,” he said.