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Workers Are Key To Older People’s Health

17 May 2002

Health Care Workers Are Key To Older People’s Health

Council of Trade Unions secretary Paul Goulter has welcomed the integrated approach to health care in the Government’s Health of Older People Strategy released yesterday.

"Aged care workers in rest homes, hospitals, community organisations and
those visiting older people in their homes are an increasingly vital part of the workforce,” said Paul Goulter.

“This Strategy links the quality of older people’s health care to ‘working conditions that support the development and retention of appropriately trained staff’.”

Paul Goulter said the CTU was pleased at the commitment to a report next year on health workforce needs, including the community and home-based workforce.

“No matter where an older person gets care it’s about ensuring high standards in training and working conditions of staff,” he said.

“It is good to finally see attention to the issues of home care workers, who are a particularly vulnerable sector of the workforce.”

He identified those issues as including casualisation, inadequate access to industry-recognised training and the need for transport allowances.

Paul Goulter said it was also good to see the Strategy’s requirement that the state, as a major health sector employer, would be good employer.

“We applaud the Strategy's explicit statement that the state, as a major health sector employer, will model the Equal Employment Opportunity and good employer obligations contained in legislation".


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