Target for nurses in aged care won’t be reached

The federal government does not expect to meet the goal of having 24/7 nurses in all aged care residences by mid-year.

From July 1, at least one registered nurse must be on-site and on duty at all times at each residential facility.

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said she was “hopeful” it would happen as providers were funded to meet the goal, but noted full compliance was not likely.

“We know at the moment more than 80 per cent are meeting that goal,” the minister told Sky News on Monday.

“We know that another about nine per cent are very close to it, and working diligently to get there by July 1.

“We also know there’s probably about five per cent out there, particularly in our rural and remote areas, that will not meet it.”

She said workforce shortages were the key problem in rural and remote areas.

In a bid to come as close to 100 per cent coverage as possible, the government has asked providers to enter discussions about exemptions to the rule.

“We expect probably about five per cent to need exemptions, which is to say they’re going to have to have some other arrangement in place to make sure that residents in their care get that care,” Ms Wells said.

She said the government was taking more of a carrot than a stick approach towards providers.


Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)


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