Ken Wyatt appointed Minister for Aged Care in limited cabinet reshuffle

Greg Hunt has been appointed the Minister for Health and Sport while Ken Wyatt has been appointed the Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced.

Greg Hunt has been appointed the Minister for Health and Sport while Ken Wyatt has been appointed the Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced.

Left: Greg Hunt is the new Minister for Health while Ken Wyatt has been appointed Minister for Aged Care
Left: Greg Hunt is the new Minister for Health while Ken Wyatt has been appointed Minister for Aged Care

Ken Wyatt becomes the first Indigenous person to be appointed a Commonwealth minister.

Mr Hunt moves to health and sport from the industry, innovation and science portfolio. He was previously environment minister.

He takes over from Sussan Ley, who resigned as the senior health minister on Friday after becoming embroiled in an expenses controversy (read AAA’s story here).

As the senior minister Mr Hunt will represent aged care in the cabinet, Mr Turnbull confirmed.

Mr Wyatt’s extensive knowledge working in health services, and as the assistant minister handling aged care issues, meant he was well placed to assume the role of Minister for Aged Care, Mr Turnbull said.

Senator Arthur Sinodinosis, who had been acting health minister since Ms Ley stood aside last Monday over the expenses controversy, takes over Mr Hunt’s role as industry minister.

Mr Wyatt, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, said he was honoured to serve as minister in the portfolio of aged care and indigenous health and said consultation with the sector would be a cornerstone of his tenure.

“I am thrilled that the importance of aged care has been recognised by the Prime Minister having been elevated to its own ministry,” he said on Wednesday.

“Aged Care is a partnership between the consumer, their carers, the providers, the policy makers, the government and the wider community and I look forward to be able to take on this new and crucial role in that partnership.”

He said consultation with the sector had been a key feature of recent aged care reforms and he would ensure it would continue to be a “cornerstone for initiatives in this area.”

Sector stakeholders react

Aged & Community Services Australia welcomed Mr Wyatt’s promotion, saying he had been very engaged with the industry on aged care issues.

“ACSA looks forward to engaging with the new Minister for Health Greg Hunt, who will represent aged care in Cabinet. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution Sussan Ley made within aged care while Minister for Health and Aged Care,” said the peak’s CEO Pat Sparrow.

Alzheimer’s Australia said it would work closely with Mr Hunt on dementia, which is a National Health Priority that affects more than 353,800 Australians.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Minister Wyatt who has already contributed to the advancement of improving aged care in his previous role as Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care,” national president Graeme Samuel said.

Leading Age Services Australia CEO Sean Rooney said he was looking forward to continuing to work with Mr Wyatt to address current and emerging issues affecting the aged care sector’s ability to meet the needs of the growing population of older Australians.

Council on the Ageing Australia praised the Prime Minister for ensuring Mr Wyatt had been given more direct control of the aged care portfolio.

“Minister Wyatt is doing a great job implementing and further developing the array of reforms which mean older people will get more choice and control over their own care as they age… it’s reassuring to know that Minister Wyatt will be responsible for continuing to see them through,” said chief executive Ian Yates.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation congratulated Mr Wyatt on his appointment and urged him to establish a “long-awaited workforce strategy for the sector – at a time when 20,000 nurses are required to meet the needs of Australia’s ageing population.”

However, Labor criticised the ministerial appointments, saying that “relegating the responsibility for ageing to the outer ministry is yet another sign that Malcolm Turnbull has no respect for older Australians.”

“At a time when aged care is demanding greater funding and major reform, removing the portfolio from Cabinet is a huge step backwards,” Labor said.

DON’T MISS: The latest issue of AAA magazine (Jan-Feb) carries an in-depth interview with Minister Wyatt

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Tags: greg hunt, Ken Wyatt, Minister for Aged Care,

8 thoughts on “Ken Wyatt appointed Minister for Aged Care in limited cabinet reshuffle

  1. “As the senior minister Mr Hunt will represent aged care in the cabinet, Mr Turnbull confirmed.”

    Aged care is in fact departing cabinet.

  2. My partner and I have been looking around at these places for a long time and the contracts are a licence to drain our bank accounts.
    Typical of conservative governments to sit on their mouths while the working classes get ripped of.

  3. Could you please comment on the time it takes to get an ACAT assessment and why when they are finally published that people who are in dire care with no government supported help can wait for months and months and receive nothing? My father worked until his early 80’s and gave up to look after my mother. We have had seriously poor experiences with respite care homes and even new aged care facilities. His level three package was offered last July. Dad is in serious need of support. How can I please speak to someone with any authority to help him?

  4. I am concerned for the wealth fare of my 62 year old brother. In October 2017 he applied for the disability pension for the second time. In January 2018 he got a letter requesting more information as to what and how he is living on. I believe he is trying to live on $200 dollars a week from a small super pension he has had to tap into. On his estimates it will run out in about 4 years . He has had two supporting letters from specialists stating he is unable to work. He has ongoing health issues is unable to get unemployment benefits because he owns his own home which is in urgent need of repairs plus he receives his super. He is becoming increasingly depressed and at 62 with health issues no one is going to employ him. Can you please advise me where or who I can speak to get him some assistance

  5. i hope you people do in your buget look after the home carer that work 24,7 every day while you can give yourself a pay rise that your goverment does want old people to go into a nurseing home so think of the people thats spend nighits afternight loolking after old person that this goverment pays me 129 doolarsa fortnight so suck eggs i will be putting her in to a i hope your mother or father goes into a home

  6. When and Why did the commission change the name for age care residents? I was told they are now referred to by staff at age care facilities as consumers??? They live and reside in these facilities, it is their home – they are not visiting and purchasing goods and services for personal use. They are in residence, whilst it is generally their last home it is their current home. Why would it be suitable to call them consumers. To me consumer sounds separate from not included in, when that is exactly why people end up in care facilities – to be cared for as they are unable to care for themselves and to be made comfortable in the choice they have made in their new residence..

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