The two major industry associations say Kevin Rudd should send his MPs on visits to local aged care facilities.

Aged and Community Services (ACAA) CEO Rod Young has issued a statement saying the Prime Minister elect should challenge his parliamentary colleagues to spend a night in a nursing home.

“They should come and talk to aged care nurses, who receive up to $150 a week less than their counterparts in hospitals, or speak with residents, who see staff’s daily struggle to provide quality care with inadequate resources,” he said.

The challenge comes after Mr Rudd instructed Labor MPs and Senators to visit local schools and services for homeless people to assess computer availability and turn away rates.

It echoes the ACIC (Aged Care Industry Council) invitations to John Howard and the then Opposition Leader, Mr Rudd, during the election campaign.

The election campaign invitation was extended to former Minister for Ageing, Christopher Pyne, and Labor’s spokesperson on Ageing, Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas as well but none of the politicians took up the offer.

Aged and Community Services (ACSA) CEO Greg Mundy has also urged Government MPs to visit aged care facilities in their local area.

He said that although aged care was ignored during the election campaign, the problems the industry faces are not going to go away.

“There are lots of new MPs, and all parliamentarians, new and old, could benefit from seeing aged care services first hand,” he said.

“MPs should see the excellent work of aged care staff for themselves and talk to them about the impact of a decade of declining government funding in real terms.”

Mr Mundy added that the MPs should also gain some firsthand experience of work in the community care sector.

“Resourcing has been even tighter in this sector and the services are spread far too thinly,” he said.

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