VIC to sell off state-owned beds

The Victorian state government has announced plans to sell nearly 1000 metropolitan residential care beds in a bid to cut costs to its growing health budget.

The Victorian state government has announced plans to sell nearly 1000 metropolitan residential care beds in a bid to cut costs to its growing health budget.

Budget documents reveal the government expects to save $75 million over two years by offloading the beds to private or NFP providers.

Health Minister David Davis said Southern Cross Care (Victoria) is now running beds previously owned by Peninsula Health in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula at a lower cost.

Mr Davis said he believed the private or community sector could run aged care facilities as well or even better than the state.

The savings will be achieved due to the higher wages bills in state-owned facilities, which pay higher rates of pay and must abide by the state’s patient-nurse ratios.

The Victorian government operates around 25 residential aged care facilities in Melbourne run by local hospital networks.

In a bid to curb the growing costs to their state budgets, NSW and Queensland also announced a similar offloading of its aged care assets – most recently in Queensland in 2012.

The Victorian government has been the largest state owner of residential aged care in Australia and is a major provider of non-metropolitan residential care.

In 2010, state and territory governments owned 5.1 per cent of all residential care beds in the country and the figure has been declining.

The Victorian Opposition expressed concerns over the plan, warning rural beds would be next.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said nursing staff would be replaced with lower paid carers, a fear also expressed by the Australian Nursing Federation (Vic branch).

The ANF told The Age that nurses would be made redundant as private facilities increased the proportion of personal care workers over RNs.

Mr Davis denied any plans to sell off its beds in rural Victoria and said patient safety would not be compromised under the sale.

Tags: anf-victorian-branch, david-davis, victoria,

1 thought on “VIC to sell off state-owned beds

  1. guarenteed way to ruin the current quality of care we give our residents, whom in our residential unit is specialised dementia care and which pca’s are unable to provide adequate care due to lack of knowledge!
    save nursings homes and staff careers and positions. if you continue down this road it is a guaranteed that you will lose the next election on this issue alone Just like John Howard and workchoices.
    cheers
    R

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