The Department of Health and Ageing has told the two doctors operating the Brighton Aged Care facility in Adelaide, to demonstrate why their approved provider status should not be revoked.

The South Australian coroner found last week that the husband-and-wife team, Jagdish and Madhu Saraf, acted “improperly” when they signed the death and cremation certificates for one of their residents in July last year.

The Sarafs reported the death of Gladys Ruth Bell, 71, two days after she was cremated, listing her cause of death as “cardiac arrest”.

However, no autopsy was performed on Ms Wells and witnesses said she was found in an “unusual position”.

The Minister for health and Ageing, Justine Elliot has called for a change to state and territory laws to prohibit doctors with a financial interest in aged care facilities from signing the death and cremation certificates of residents.

Ms Elliot said she would write to Federal Attorney General, Robert McClelland along with the relevant state and territory ministers, urging them to review the current cremation legislation.

“My key concern as Minister for Ageing is that people who need aged care receive quality, safe care and that care recipients, and their families, are treated with dignity and respect,” said Ms Elliot.

“I am advised by the Department that this is the only Australian Government subsidised nursing home being operated by doctors.”

The Department has been notified that the Sarafs are no longer providing GP services to the residents of Brighton Aged Care.

The quality of care at Brighton Aged Care has been the subject of investigation in the past.

Formerly known as St Catherine’s Nursing Home, it changed names following significant cases of non-compliance in 2004 and 2005.

Another Adelaide facility owned by Dr Jagdish Saraf came under fire last year when a resident was reportedly rolled in tomato sauce by care staff as part of a “practical joke”.

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