- The first letters went to the NSW Premier on 23/2 but when voters went to the polls in three by-elections on 8/4, there had been no response addressing the issues that were raised.
- The Premier had ample information at hand from the comprehensive Upper House Inquiry findings that supported retaining the legislation.
Australia’s senior citizens have endured many hardships during their lives and a number now find themselves in high needs nursing homes.
It doesn’t matter where you live in Australia it is important to address falling standards because modern governments so easily pursue “race to the bottom” strategies that drag down our quality of life and nationally, can increase costs for the taxpayer.
The NSW government had legislation in place that required a registered nurse be available 24 hours per day for high needs residents in nursing homes. Last year they cancelled it (when Mike Baird was Premier) despite a NSW Upper House inquiry finding the law should be retained with slight modifications.
The new Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, is reviewing the human impact of local government mergers and this should be a good time to urge her to reverse the Baird governments cancellation of support for a fragile segment of the population.
It seems NSW’ registered nurses requirement used to be the “front runner” in high needs nursing home standards but not any more. This reduction in standards makes harder for the public to argue for appropriate funding and easier for ideology driven governments to cut funding.
The clear winner is private nursing home profits while residents receive reduced care and an increased load is created for taxpayer supported health care services.
There are some NSW by-elections coming up, possibly Gosford, Manly and North Shore. If you know people in/near those areas you might be able to use this campaign to encourage appropriate discussion and questions to candidates.
More information is contained in the draft letter and the link below provides a cross section of detail that was published before the NSW government abdicated responsibility. It includes the comment that the Federal laws are inadequate, hence the NSW law needed to be retained.
Article by the Upper House Committee chair, Jan Barham MP, after the NSW law was cancelled.
Even if you are not in NSW it will help to reintroduce this standard and stop cost shifting to taxpayer funded health services.