Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Monday, 11 January 2021

COVID-19 State Of Play 2021: about the Australian Government national vaccination program......


On 7 January 2021 Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison fronted a press conference at which he stated of the proposed national vaccination program; “It's a federal vaccination policy”.


Currently this federal policy commences with only one vaccine agreement being implemented – the two-dose Astra Zeneca vaccine (doses given 28 days apart) which is considered to have an efficacy rate of at least 62 per cent in those fully vaccinated.


This vaccine choice by federal government appears to be predicated on potential product loss and lower storage costs, as the Astra Zeneca vaccine vials can be stored in fridges rather than requiring very low temperature medical freezers.


The Australian Government’s agreement with Astra Zeneca is that this pharmaceutical company will deliver 3.8 million doses in early 2021, with another 50 million doses to be manufactured under licence in Australia by CSL Behring.


Using the stated dosing regime the initial doses sent to Australia would only fully vaccinate est. 1.9 million people or would only partially vaccinate 3.8 million people.


It is to be hoped that before mid-February CSL Behring will have managed to manufacture and stockpile at least another 4.2 million doses if Morrison's stated population target is to be met.


At that 7 January press conference Morrison went on to say that he expected that the nation rollout will commence with vaccinations of high priority groups in mid to late February 2021.


He is hoping to start the vaccination with around 80,000 vaccinations a week and, to build up those numbers over the next 4 to 6 weeks.


Further, Morrison expressed a hope that that by the end of March 4 million people will have received the vaccine.


If vaccinations commenced at the earliest date Morrison has indicated then it would be on 14 February 2021 with 80,000 having received a first dose injection by 21 February.


To reach the target of 4 million people having received an injection by 31 March 2021, the rollout would have to proceed from 22 February onwards at a rate of est. 95,609 people a day.


Being generous and allowing that though he said March he may have meant mid-April, the amended rate of vaccination would be lowered to est. 66,440 people per day.


To complete full vaccination of 4 million people, the second-dose round would have to commence on or about 14 March 2021 which would raise the number of people receiving injections by the end of March (or alternatively by mid-April) to an impossibly large number.


This appears to be an incredibly optimistic timetable and the logistics daunting. Hospital clinics and GP practices would likely be overwhelmed.


I sincerely hope I am wrong and the states and territories manage to pull a few medical rabbits out of their public health hats, because I suspect on past behaviour Scott Morrison will decide to holiday or be otherwise unavailable for much of the initial 4-6 week vaccine rollout period.


Sunday, 3 January 2021

NSW Government update of COVID-19 public health restrictions effective from midnight Saturday, 2 January 2021


NSW Government update of COVID-19 public health restrictions, 2 January 2021:


Given the risk of COVID-19 transmission on the Northern Beaches and across Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), the following adjustments are being made.


From midnight tonight, the southern zone of the Northern Beaches will be subject to the same restrictions as Greater Sydney.


Restrictions for the northern zone of the Northern Beaches remain the same with stay at home orders in place until 9 January 2021;


  • No visitors to the home.

  • Five northern zone residents can gather outdoors (not at homes) for exercise and recreation, from within the same zone.

  • Non-essential businesses remain closed.


Given the general risk in Greater Sydney, new measures are required to reduce the transmission potential of COVID-19 while maintaining economic activity.


The following measures for Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) are effective from midnight tonight:


  • Face masks will be mandatory in the following indoor settings:

    • shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)
    • public/shared transport, indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)
    • places of worship
    • hair and beauty premises.
    • Face masks will also be mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues and casinos and for patrons using gaming services.
    • Compliance will start from Monday, 4 January 2021 with $200 on the spot fines for individuals for non-compliance. Children under 12 are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.
  • Gym classes reduced to 30 people.

  • Places of worship and religious services limited to 1 person per 4sqm up to a maximum of 100 people per separate area.

  • Weddings and funerals limited to 1 person per 4sqm up to a maximum of 100 people.

  • Outdoor performances and protests reduced to 500 people.

  • Controlled, outdoor gatherings (seated, ticketed, enclosed) reduced to 2,000 people.

  • Night clubs not permitted.


People are still encouraged to limit non-essential gatherings and reduce their mobility where possible to further minimise the risk of transmission in the community.


Whilst these measures do not apply to areas outside Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), we urge all residents and visitors across the State to practise COVID safe behaviours and get tested even if symptoms are mild.


Northern NSW Local Health District advice for those living in the NSW Northern Rivers region:


To help stop the spread of COVID-19:


  • If you are unwell, get tested and isolate right away – don’t delay. Remain isolated until you receive your test result.

  • Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.

  • Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

  • Wear a mask when using public transport, rideshares and taxis, and in shops, places of worship and other places where you can’t physically distance. When taking taxis or rideshares, commuters should sit in the back.


To find your nearest testing clinic visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others/clinics or contact your GP.


Sunday, 20 December 2020

Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme in 2020-21




In December 2019 the Morrison Coalition Government was handed the Review of the NDIS Act report.


This report was published and reported on in January 2020 and the Morrison Government released its formal response in August 2020.


Concerns about details in the Morrison Government's response and other statements by the department and minister responsible led the parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme to issue this media release on 16 December 2020:


COMMITTEE LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENTS


The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will conduct an inquiry into independent assessments under the NDIS. 


An independent assessment is an assessment of a person’s functional capacity, which will be used to inform decisions about eligibility for the NDIS and about funding in a participant’s plan. 


The National Disability Insurance Agency proposes to introduce independent assessments as part of the NDIS access and planning processes in 2021. 


“Through its other inquiries, the committee has heard that many stakeholders—particularly in the disability and allied health sectors—have strong concerns about the independent assessments process, and about how assessments will be used to inform access and planning decisions,” Committee Chair, the Hon Kevin Andrews said. 


The inquiry will have a particular focus on: 


• the rationale for introducing independent assessments into the NDIS, and the evidence to support this decision; 


• the assessment process and its impacts; 


• the implications of independent assessments for NDIS access and planning decisions; and 


• the appropriateness of independent assessments for particular cohorts of people with disability. 


The committee is particularly interested in hearing from people with disability, families and carers; allied health professionals; and representative organisations. 


Full terms of reference for the inquiry are published on the committee’s website. 


The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is 31 March 2021.


Terms of reference and guide to making a submission can be found at:



Wednesday, 2 December 2020

In Australia this summer "heatwaves may not reach the extreme temperatures of recent years, but may be longer duration and more humid, which can still have a significant impact on human health"



Heatwave Situation for Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday (3 days starting 30/11/2020)

Areas of low-intensity heatwave experienced through northern WA, central NT, most of QLD, northeastern SA and northern NSW. Areas of severe heatwave experienced in southern and western QLD and inland northern NSW. An area of extreme heatwave experienced in south central QLD and over the NSW border.






Clarence Valley Independent, 1 December 2020: 


Australia can expect a wetter than normal summer, but bush and grass fires cannot be ruled out completely, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Summer Climate Outlook released today. 


The outlook for summer has been issued as Australia continues to experience an active La Niña event which is expected to remain until at least the start of autumn. 


The Bureau’s Head of Operational Climate Services Dr Andrew Watkins said this means large parts of eastern Australia have an increased risk of flooding. “While the last three weeks have been dry in many parts of the country – due in part to unfavourable tropical weather patterns – it does not signal a weakening of La Niña. 


“Our climate outlook is the opposite of what we experienced last year in Australia. This summer, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are expected to see above average rainfall, meaning we face an increased risk of widespread floods. 


Dr Watkins said that while the risk of bushfires isn’t as high as last summer, fires will occur. 


“There’s a great chance of grass fires in some areas as recent rain and warm weather have led to vigorous vegetation growth. South eastern Australia is one of the most fire-prone regions in the world. 


Even short periods of hot and dry weather increase the risk of fire in summer.” Dr Watkins said the outlook was also a reminder for communities to be prepared for heatwaves over the coming months. 


“Every summer we see heatwaves across southern Australia. This summer heatwaves may not reach the extreme temperatures of recent years, but may be longer duration and more humid, which can still have a significant impact on human health. 


“Daytime temperatures in summer are likely to be near average, but there will be periods of high heat combined with milder periods. 


“It’s important to keep up to date with the Bureau’s heatwave service.”.....


Monday, 28 September 2020

While the Northern NSW Nationals posture in the media about Queensland border restrictions and moves to protect the state's koalas, NSW Labor Member for Lismore is doing the hard yards



While Northern NSW Nationals Chris Gulaptis, Geoff Provest and Ben Franklin run to mainstream media outlets to huff and puff about Queensland's border restrictions and, Gulaptis in particular cries that the sky will fall if New South Wales koalas receive the protection they deserve, the NSW Labor Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin just gets on with the job of representing her electorate.

Office of the Member for Lismore, media release, 25 September 2020:

Saffin pushes for immediate and strategic support of regional economy

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin is calling on the Berejeklian-Barilaro Government to deliver urgent financial support to businesses on the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands and to strategically establish a Special Activation Precinct to turbo charge the regional economy.

It will help our region climb out of COVID. We have projects ready, the collaboration and the will, but we need our share of New South Wales’ available resources, including the $1.75 billion owed to regional and rural NSW from Restart NSW, Ms Saffin said.

Ms Saffin has used a series of Notices of Motion to NSW Parliament to focus the Government’s attention on the Electorate of Lismore, still recovering from 2017’s major flood, drought, last year’s bushfires, this year’s COVID-19 lockdown and the Queensland-NSW border closure.

Ms Saffin said that while she had successfully lobbied for the Border Bubble to include the Lismore City, Byron Shire, Ballina Shire, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes Local Government Areas, many businesses were still hurting economically.

“NSW Business Northern Rivers estimates that businesses have been losing an average of $10,500 a week in revenue so there is still an urgent need for the Government to come good with a rescue package like the $45-million one it offered to NSW businesses near the Victorian border,” Ms Saffin said.

“I thought it was important for me to advocate for our region through a combination of Notices of Motion, Questions on Notice to Ministers and direct reps to Ministers, and at next week’s meeting with Regional Development Australia-Northern Rivers, we can flesh this out in more detail.

“Having a Special Activation Precinct here on the Northern Rivers, and all of the extra government support that comes with these precincts, would give real teeth to my earlier calls for a Regional Jobs Plan.

“Another major issue is that the NSW Government has introduced a Whole of Government Procurement Policy for collecting waste from Health, TAFE and caravan parks on Crown reserves, squeezing out our local regional companies in favour of the big multinationals, and killing off local jobs.”

Ms Saffin has moved Notices of Motion on the need to develop and fund a Regional Jobs Plan; expanding Special Activation Precincts to the region; supporting small businesses impacted by the Queensland-NSW border closure; unlocking Restart NSW funding; and fairer Procurement Policies.

On a Regional Jobs (Employment Development) Plan, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Regional Development Australia’s Remplan Report estimates 15,471 jobs have vanished from the Northern Rivers regional economy between February and May 2020, with accommodation/hospitality and retail sectors hardest hit.

2. Notes job losses are similar in the New England North West Region.

3. Notes the Government needs to develop and fund a Regional Jobs Plan, coordinated by the NSW Department of Regional Development and enlisting the expertise of Regional Development Australia, Business NSW, local chambers of commerce, local government councils through joint organisations, business leaders, trade unions and all local Members.

On Special Activation Precincts, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government established Special Activation Precincts in Parkes, Wagga Wagga, Snowy Mountains, Moree and Williamtown to turbo charge these regional locations to become thriving business hubs through infrastructure investment, Government-led studies, Government-led development and business concierge services.

2. Recognises the need to expand the network of Special to the Northern Rivers region, home to many cutting-edge entrepreneurs in its stated range of industries, including freight and logistics, defence, advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and tourism.

On Queensland-NSW Border Closure – Small Business Support, Ms Saffin  moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government moved quickly to provide a $45-million rescue package for New South Wales small businesses adversely impacted by its decision to close the NSW-Victorian border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

2. Notes there is an urgent need for the Government to extend a similarly generous grant program to all local small businesses in Northern NSW, which, having endured drought and bushfires, are now really struggling to cope with the Queensland-NSW border closure.

On Restart NSW Funding, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government has failed to deliver the legislated commitment to allocate 30 per cent of Restart NSW funds to regional and rural New South Wales in any year since its inception, delivering only 18.9 per cent of $3 billion instead of $4.75 billion from 2012 to 2019.

2. Calls upon the Premier and the Deputy Premier to deliver the promises Restart NSW funding of 30 per cent each year and to pay the debt of $1.75 billion owing to the people of regional and rural New South Wales.

On Procurement Policies, Ms Saffin moved that the Lower House:

1. Notes the Government’s Expression of Interest (EOI) for NSW Whole of Government Waste Management for Health, TAFE and caravan parks on Crown Reserves favours large operators and squeezes out small and medium size Australian-owned regional companies because the EOI effectively makes redundant the Government’s Small and Medium Enterprise and Regional Procurement Policy.

2. Recognises the need for an urgent review of these procurement policies and consultation with small and medium size regional companies to ensure that they still have a seat at the tendering table and are not disenfranchised to the point that their revenue streams can be reduced by a third, leading to job losses in Northern NSW during an economic recession.

Ms. Saffin gave notice of the aforementioned motions in the NSW Legislative Assembly on the following dates:

17/10/2019 RESTART NSW FUNDING 
15/09/2020 QUEENSLAND-NEW SOUTH WALES BORDER CLOSURE - SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT 
17/09/2020 REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT 
24/09/2020 SPECIAL ACTIVATION PRECINCTS 
24/09/2020 PROCUREMENT POLICIES 

I note that there appears to have been no motions or speeches specifically on these matters in the same timespan by either Chris Gulaptis, Geoff Provest or Ben Franklin.

The dramatic increase in COVID-19 deaths in Australia’s aged care homes begs the ethics around our treatment of people in aged care, says a UNSW expert


MediaNet Release, 24 September 2020:

Treating our elderly people ethically and with transparency

UNSW’s Richard Hugman says it is time to stop treating elderly people as objects, as the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Safety continues.

The dramatic increase in COVID-19 deaths in Australia’s aged care homes begs the ethics around our treatment of people in aged care, says a UNSW expert. In less than four months, deaths from COVID-19 in aged care have increased from 28 to 580, at the time of writing.

UNSW Emeritus Professor Richard Hugman, a social worker who specialises in the aged care professions, says Australia’s service provision needs to treat older people as human beings rather than objects.

"To use a similar ethos in caring for human beings that you would use in producing physical things for sale, I think is an unfortunate way to think about the world,” the former professor of social work at UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, says.

"The way policies are framed around running these [places], it is as if they are running a factory. I understand good management techniques are transferable across settings, but you also need to understand the content of what you're managing.”

Causes of the COVID outbreaks in aged care

A range of factors have been blamed for the outbreak of COVID-19 in care facilities, including a lack of training in the use of Personal Protective Equipment and supplies available for care staff.

Melbourne’s aged care homes have been the worst hit, with all but five of the 115 aged care homes affected by the virus in Victoria. St Basil’s recording 44 deaths, Epping Gardens 36 deceased and Twin Parks Aged Care in Reservoir with 21.

In Sydney, Newmarch House recorded the state’s highest death toll in aged care with 19 cases, including two residents who had COVID-19 when they died from other causes. And the numbers are growing.

Newmarch and St Basil’s had alarming numbers because they decided not to transfer patients to hospital, Prof. Hugman says.

"I haven't seen the detail, but the question I would be asking is, ‘were those homes actually using established infectious disease control methods?’” he says.

The decision not to transfer patients is exacerbated by the fact that today there are very few qualified nurses in nursing homes, Prof. Hugman says.

"Some nursing homes don't even actually have a nurse on duty at all times. If they’re looking after 100 people and they’ve got one nurse on duty to supervise other people, then they might have somebody who has a certificate from TAFE administering drugs and medications.

"Whereas in a hospital, someone would actually have to be a qualified nurse to be doing that.”

Care staff working across multiple sites during the pandemic have also reportedly been a likely source of COVID-19 transmission. Prof. Hugman says staff have to work between homes just to earn enough to survive on.

"It's not just in Victoria, despite what the government says. These are all reflections of the broader ethics of the social value that is placed on [ageing] people, so that they seem to be less well cared for than they could be otherwise.”

Early findings from the Royal Commission’s interim report

The Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (RCACQS) is looking at better financing models, including regulation of aged care providers, in its latest hearings expected to run until September 22.

It comes after a survey by the University of Queensland for RCACQS estimated it would cost $621 million per year to improve the quality of all aged care homes to better standards. In its October 2019interim report, the RCACQS’ scathing review stated that aged care is a “shocking tale of neglect” in Australia that fails to meet the needs of our elderly people.

Australia’s aged care sector is “unkind and uncaring” towards older people, it does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care and often neglects them, according to the interim report.
Prof. Hugman says while the Royal Commission creates an opportunity for people to speak up, the real challenge lies in the government’s response and how it then permeates into the wider society.

A lack of transparency

Prof. Hugman says there is a lack of transparency in how government funding is spent by management in aged care facilities in comparison to community-based social services where monitoring is stringent.

He says claims by some aged care homes, particularly those from the for-profit sector, that they have to spend less on staff relative to residents in order to cover their costs just doesn’t stack up.

"And those claims about non-profitability do not explain how or why the [aged care] for-profit sector remains [in operation],” he says.

For-profit aged care homes have reported more cases of COVID-19 than facilities operating on a not-for-profit framework, heightening concerns about staff numbers, training and supplies.

Raising the social value of elderly people

The Victorian Aged Care Response Centre has since been set-up to coordinate efforts to stabilise any further COVID-19 outbreaks across the private and public aged care sectors, with an infection control officer now stationed in each facility.

And the Royal Commission is set to release its final report by 26 February 2021.

Prof. Hugman recommends the government respond to the Royal Commission by not only providing sufficient funding but by also ensuring older people are treated with dignity and care.

"[The government needs to] focus on improvements to the aged care sector that are not reflective of a sense that older people needing care are a burden on society,” Prof. Hugman says.

[Instead, they need to focus on the fact] that older people are part of society and that a good society is one that values all its members.”

Prof. Hugman also says there needs to be an emphasis placed on the expression of positive values about how to treat and view elderly people as human beings.

"Frankly, there are some places I've visited in the last few years, either because I've had friends or relatives who are living in them or I've gone to visit for professional reasons,” Prof. Hugman says.

And they’re places, “I wouldn't go anywhere near”.


Sunday, 6 September 2020

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese invites Australian voters to "Tell Morrison to fix aged care"


A 31 August 2020 email Opposition Leader and Labor MP for  Anthony Albanese is sending out:

Tell the Morrison Government to fix aged care

Neglect. That’s the legacy of the Morrison Government when it comes to aged care.

People with open sores left unattended. A woman with ants crawling from her open wounds. Aged care residents left hungry, alone in their rooms.

Our most vulnerable Australians are dying without their family by their sides.


You’d think the Government’s response would be to take responsibility?

You’d think the Minister would stick around to answer questions?

But no.

All we see from the Morrison Government is running away, passing the buck, and refusing interviews.

The Morrison Government has no plan to fix the aged care system.

But we do. We want the Government to take these eight steps.
  1. Minimum staffing levels in residential aged care
  2. Reduce the home care package waiting list so more people can stay in their homes for longer
  3. Ensure transparency and accountability of funding to support high quality care
  4. Independent measurement and public reporting as recommended by the Royal Commission this week
  5. Ensure every residential aged care facility has adequate personal protective equipment
  6. Better training for staff, including on infection control
  7. A better surge workforce strategy
  8. Provide additional resources so the Aged Care Royal Commission can inquire specifically into COVID-19 across the sector while not impacting or delaying the handing down of the final report

The problems in aged care were around long before the coronavirus. The pandemic has been like an x-ray. It’s shown us what was broken.

Older Australians built this country ­– and they deserve so much better than this.

Thanks and stay safe,


Anthony Albanese

Australian Labor Party 
Authorised by P. Erickson, ALP, Canberra.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Mobile respiratory clinic heading to Maclean during the week beginning 7 September 2020 - bookings required for COVID-19 testing


Clarence Valley Independent, 2 August 2020:

The mobile respiratory clinic heading to Maclean during the week beginning September 7. 

The clinic will take place at the Maclean RSL Sub Branch at 38 River Street. 

For bookings, phone 1800 856 325 or visit www.bit.ly/casino-rc

Bookings for the Maclean clinic will be open from Thursday September 3. 

Anyone who develops who flu-like symptoms should not delay getting tested at one of the multiple testing clinics already established throughout the region. 

More information about this initiative can be found on our website at: https://nnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/blog/2020/07/03/testing-times-mobile-respiratory-clinic-hits-the-road/

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Morrison Government believes that warehousing older Australians until they die is the appropriate function of aged care in Australia?


An estimated 221,300 people in Australia entered aged care services between 2009–10 and 2018–19. 

Months before the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, in fact on 31 October 2019, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety published an interim report titled "Neglect" which stated in the foreword:

As a nation, Australia has drifted into an ageist mindset that undervalues older people and limits their possibilities. Sadly, this failure to properly value and engage with older people as equal partners in our future has extended to our apparent indifference towards aged care services. Left out of sight and out of mind, these important services are floundering. They are fragmented, unsupported and underfunded. With some admirable exceptions, they are poorly managed. All too often, they are unsafe and seemingly uncaring. This must change..... 

We have found that the aged care system fails to meet the needs of our older, often very vulnerable, citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care for older people. It is unkind and uncaring towards them. In too many instances, it simply neglects them.

A little over nine months later this is the Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's opinion of the aged care system his government administers. 

 Financial Review, 14 August 2020:

"On the days that the system falls short, on the days that expectations are not met, I'm deeply sorry about that. Of course I am," the Prime Minister said.

"I know that everyone who is involved in the process who is trying to meet those expectations is equally sorry.

"I think we’ve got to have a reality check about this. I think that it’s great that Australians have high expectations.”….

Mr Morrison said the cohort of Australians seeking aged care had changed significantly since Howard government-era controversies, including revelations of residents being bathed in diluted kerosene.

"We're dealing with a system that is now dealing with a very different demand.

"It is very much at a stage of pre-palliative care. And that is a very different proposition in terms of the facilities, the workforce, the clinical needs, to what it was 10 years ago.

"The system needs to be adjusted to meet that."

This is what his Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians & Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck stated on the floor of the Senate on 31 August 2020:

"There are about 60,000 Australians who die in residential aged care on an annual basis unfortunately, but that's one of the functions of residential aged care." 

Here are some social media comments from older Australians and their families concerning the predominately for profit wharehousing being endorsed and funded by the federal government:

"As older woman something struck me after conversation with other local women in my age group. Everyone expressed horror of residential aged care. Some have told children they do not want this to happen, some expressed an intention to suicide - active or passive. Australia 2020".

"So agree".

"Exactly my sentiments, I've told my children not to ever consider putting me into residential care. I'd rather find a good drug dealer or Euthanasia Medical Specialist to take care of things."

"My 87 year old Mum agrees. Been in the family home for over 50 years, says the only way she'll leave is feet first."

"I certainly will if faced with the prospect of incarceration in one of these hellholes".

"Told my sister and her kids to take me up the back paddock and shoot me before going this way."

"Absolutely, older women I know are all going to "take care of it" for themselves, when the time is right and won't be told what to do and when by others but are afraid they may not have the capacity or the means to do it for themselves they are afraid."

"I’ve had this conversation with my mother. She begged me, in tears, and told me she’d ‘sort it out’ if it came to that."

"Nearly 70 and still in own home. Will NOT go into aged care. Am first generation that can see what “living forever” via meds etc looks like and really has little appeal for me. Voluntary end of life must be looked at but anyone choosing nursing home has absolute right to decency."

"I'm 40, and have worked in an aged care home. I have also told my kids not to put me in a home, that I would rather die with some dignity."

"My mum told me to knock her on the head with a frying pan. I told her I wouldn’t go to jail for her, she could just live with me. Aged care has been a disgrace for decades. It is a genuine fear for seniors & a heartache & fear for families with no other choice."

"Once I'm passed looking after myself is when it's time to go. Seen to much damage done by evil neglect to those who are forced to live past their "best before" date." 

"My parents, who are in their 80s, have both said that they would rather suicide than go into an Aged Care home. I have told them that they can move in with us and we will get the in-home care that they need, but they won't consider this. It makes me sad, but I understand them."


BACKGROUND

Residential aged care for the 221,300:

More than two-thirds of these were an admission into residential care—this was split between permanent (almost 70,000) and respite care (over 83,500).
Of all people entering aged care, around 1 in 5 people were admitted to home care (almost 43,800) and 1 in 10 were admitted to transition care (over 24,000).
Almost 60,800 people were admitted to permanent residential aged care for the first time in 2018–19. [Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, GEN aged care data]

In 2017-18:

More than 3,000 aged care providers in Australia deliver care through nearly 9,000 services (outlets). The sector comprises private (for-profit) providers alongside community-based and charitable providers, and state and territory and local government providers. The mix of ownership type varies across programs, with the largest proportion of for-profit services in the residential care program (41% of residential aged care places are managed by for-profit providers).

Collectively, these services supported the care needs of more than 1.2 million people in 2017–18, at a total cost to governments of $18.4 billion. Consumers may also be asked to contribute to the cost of care. In residential aged care, for example, the cost to governments in 2016–17 was $12.1 billion, and residents contributed a further $4.7 billion (ACFA 2018). [AIHW , Aged Care Snapshot, 11 September 2019]
  • In 1997-98, the average age of entry into residential care for females was 82.8 years; by 2008-09 this had increased to 84.3 years. For males, over the same period, the average age of entry into residential care increased from 79.5 years to 81.6 years.
  • In 2000-01, the average age of people admitted to Community Aged Care Packages was 79.7 years. By 2009-10, this had increased to 81.4 years. Between 2003-04 and 2009-10 the average age of people admitted to Extended Aged Care at Home Packages increased from 80.8 years to 82.2 years.
In June 2018 the majority of older people in residential aged care were 75 years and over – 81% of all men and 90.5% of all women [Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, GEN aged care data]

Fourteen years ago the bi-annual proportion of persons over 65 years of age dying in residential aged care in Australia was estimated at between 34% (high level care only) to 53% (including both high and low level of care plus respite care). [Broad, J.B. et al, 2015, Likelihood of residential aged care use in later life: a simple approach to estimation with international comparison, p.3]

The Minister:

The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 August 2020:

Colbeck was appointed to the Senate in 2002 to fill a vacancy. In 2016 he lost his seat after being demoted to fifth place on the Coalition ticket in Tasmania, but unexpectedly returned in February 2018 after the parliamentary eligibility crisis forced Stephen Parry, a dual British citizen, to resign.

The Prime Minister:

The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 2009: 

Towke won easily. On the first ballot, he polled 10 times as many votes as Morrison, 82 votes to 8, who was eliminated in the first round. His victory meant that a Lebanese Australian would represent the Liberal Party in the seat where the Cronulla riot and revenge raids had taken place 18 months earlier, in December 2005. ''The campaign against me started four days after preselection,'' Towke said.....

Though Towke would eventually win his legal war, the damage had been done. The adverse media coverage set in train a reaction within the party to get rid of him. A second ballot was ordered, in which the balance of power was shifted away from the grassroots in Cook and to the state executive. The second ballot gave the preselection to Scott Morrison. Amazing. He had been parachuted into the seat over Towke's political carcass. Morrison clearly had backers who wanted him to get the seat. ''These guys were prepared to ruin my life,'' Towke said.