Attention, both sides of politics!

CHA has called for the major political parties to make aged care a priority in the lead up to the 2010 federal government election.

Both sides of politics are being urged to consider the needs of older Australians and make aged care a priority in the lead up to the 2010 federal government election.
In the same week that the nation’s best political commentators predict that an election will be called, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has called upon the government to think more about the country’s most vulnerable.

The organisation’s 2010 Federal Election Platform, released yesterday, asks the government to commit to creating a 10-year health and aged care workforce action plan, through Health Workforce Australia.

“The single most pressing matter confronting Catholic health and aged care services is the current and future availability of a skilled workforce,” CHA’s report said. “Despite many years of government programs, a long term plan to properly address Australia’s future health workforce needs has yet to emerge.”

“Within six months of the election of the next government, a 10- year action plan should be presented by Health Workforce Australia to a Senate Inquiry with terms of reference to review what action can be taken by 2020 to provide sufficient doctors, nurses, allied health and other care givers to work in the nation’s health and aged care services.

“The Senate Inquiry should report within a year of the election, setting out a bipartisan national approach to health workforce planning.”

The plan also details other necessary priorities including the need more aged care funding; greater reform based on the future recommendations of the Productivity Commission and the establishment of a Health Reform Implementation Advisory Council.

CHA has also called for the establishment of a Prime Minister’s Mental Health Summit and a vast improvement in the nation’s palliative care services.

CHA’s CEO, Martin Laverty, said that despite the fact that aged care has not attracted the government’s attention thus far in the lead up to the election, it is an issue that either political party can not ignore.

“The government can’t walk away from ensuring that they tackle the needs of older Australians,” Mr Laverty said.

“Both sides of politics will be required to give details of how they will deal with the issue of the aged care workforce and implement the Productivity Commission’s blueprint of aged care reform.”

Most importantly he said, the government “must make sure that service providers are funded to deliver the type of care that older Australians deserve.”

Tags: aged, australia, care-federal, catholic, election, health,

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