More than 800 extra nurses will be needed to ensure all aged care homes have round-the-clock access, the federal minister has confirmed.
About 80 per cent of facilities across Australia already or nearly fulfil a requirement for 24/7 nurses, Anika Wells told Question Time on Thursday.
She said by July 2023 an additional 869 nurses will be needed to meet the needs of the remaining 20 per cent of homes currently without 24/7 coverage.
“We are working with providers to make sure … every single older Australian knows that they will have access to a nurse when they need it in their facility across the country,” she said.
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“We need to lift up the standard of care across the country that was neglected for nine years under the previous government.”
The minister on Wednesday introduced two bills to parliament aimed at improving Australia’s aged care sector.
Along with mandating 24/7 nurses, the proposed measures would monitor the costs associated with aged care, specifically administration fees, and place greater responsibility on providers to be transparent and fair.
Ms Wells also reintroduced a bill responding to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety that was not passed by the former Morrison government before the election.
It contains nine measures to implement urgent reforms to the aged care system, and responds to 17 recommendations of the inquiry’s final report.