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Victoria’s COVID-19 crisis in aged care ‘certainly was preventable’

An expert in geriatric medicine and elder abuse says coronavirus outbreaks in aged care were “certainly preventable” and Australia had multiple opportunities to prevent the situation.

There are currently 804 active coronavirus cases in Victorian aged care homes, and the deaths associated with nursing home outbreaks are mounting.

Head of the Health Law and Ageing Research Unit, Professor Joseph Ibrahim, says repeated failures to improve the aged care system are to blame for the current crisis.

He says a national group should have been set up for aged care in Feburary.

“We should not be in this situation,” he told Ross and John.

“We knew an awful lot about the risk prior to January this year and by March we had all the experience from a number of countries like Australia, where this infection had created enormous deaths in nursing homes.

“We knew from the royal commission last year … we were understaffed, underskilled and that there was poor infection control.”

Professor Ibrahim shared a message for all Australians.

“We all get older. If we don’t fix the system then this is what awaits us,” he said.

“This is the type of care you’re going to be receiving and if you’re not happy with ti then get on the phone, email, write to your MP.”

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