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Union Campaigns Against Elderly Care Shortfall

Things are so bad in the Aged Care industry that the Service and Food Workers Union has dedicated a large chunk of its latest magazine to spelling out just how poor conditions are and how tight funding is for elderly care, National's Senior Citizens spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said.

"The Minister of Senior Citizens Lianne Dalziel won't enjoy the latest edition of Our Voice one bit, but she must take heed. All her fuzzy talk about positive ageing can't hide the fact that there is a 'crisis in the Aged Care industry'.

SFWU National Secretary Darien Fenton says Aged Care workers desperately need their union's support to 'bring their scandalous low pay in this industry to light.'

The magazine labels funding as 'the heart of the problem' and highlights that Aged Care providers 'have received no increase in funding from the Ministry.'

"Lianne Dalziel alone has let the Aged Care industry drift into a serious crisis over the past 18 months. It's time she gave priority to our most frail. But she continually refuses to front up and talk straight about the concerns," Dr Scott said.

Calling for SFWU members to get more active in campaigning for improvements the magazine says 'the Aged Care industry is underfunded and desperately needs a funding formula that recognises the actual costs of providing care.'

"Adding to the crisis is the fact that costs have soared under this Government, meaning stagnant funding levels actually equate to a funding cut. It's no wonder many rest homes are struggling to keep afloat and many religious and welfare homes have exited the service in the last two years," Dr Scott said.

"Hopefully Ms Dalziel will pay some attention to the massive concerns raised by the Service and Food Workers Union. So far she's turned a deaf ear to everyone else.

"It's imperative that rest homes and geriatric hospitals be funded to an adequate level, otherwise the care of our elderly will be seriously compromised," Dr Lynda Scott said.


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