Older Victorians have taken centre stage in the state’s upcoming election campaign, following the Brumby government’s recent promise to build a world class health system with a cash injection of $15 million to support research into Alzheimer’s disease.
The premier promised that, should his government be re-elected, the grant would be provided to the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria to work with the drug company, Prana Biotechnology, to advance a treatment for the disease.
The news has been welcomed by aged care peak body, Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV), as a positive first step.
CEO of ACCV, Gerard Mansour, commented that the announcement marks a great start to the campaign, which he hopes signals a future trend for other state and federal political parties to follow.
“It’s good to see, so early in the campaign, that the state government is moving into a space that you wouldn’t normally see the state government moving into,” said Mr Mansour.
“I must say that I am encouraged by this announcement as it is exactly the type for focus we wish to see early in the campaign. We are hopeful that the focus on older people will continue.”
A statement released by the Brumby government late last week said that it wanted to address the long-term pressures that an ageing population will place upon the health sector in the future.
Despite this, Mr Mansour said that the sector is still waiting for a positive commitment from all of the major state political parties, including the Labor government, to specific aged care issues.
ACCV has detailed a proposal with five key state election goals that it wants government action on and commitment to.
The organisation recently sent the proposal to all political candidates, requesting that measures be put in place to ensure positive ageing in the community; a responsive service system; a vibrant and capable workforce; a financially viable and environmentally sustainable industry, and an accessible and quality aged care system.
Mr Mansour said, that so far, the proposal has “received a warm and positive reaction”.
“Every political party has each acknowledged that it’s a sound policy base and they recognise the fact that older Victorians are a priority. But we want to see those words translated into policy commitments.
“Both at the federal and state level, all too often aged care misses the train…but we are determined that this time [politicians] will recognise older Victorians.”