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‘An absolute mess’: Calls for Australia’s current aged care approach to be abandoned

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed Australia’s aged care system is “in crisis” and the current approach should be abandoned, a new report says.

Research from the Grattan Institute found the coronavirus crisis “exposed Australia’s poor governance and regulation” in aged care.

Health Program Director at the Grattan Institute, Dr Stephen Duckett, said the “so-called system” is “an absolute mess”.

“There’s no support for consumers, no information about what’s good and what’s bad … so consumers are ripped off with very high management fees,” he told Ross and Russel.

Dr Duckett said poor government oversight in federally owned aged care homes is lacking, and it has had deadly consequences.

“They’ve been a big funder, but they’ve said the entire responsibility is on … the people who run the nursing homes,” he said.

“There’s been no support, no regulation, no oversight to the extent there should be. So we’ve ended up with the mess we’re in.”

The Grattan Institute’s report calls for the current top-down, provider-centric system to be abandoned in favour of a new one which puts aged Australians first.

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