This week has me deeply disturbed, angry, sad and yesterday, even tearful about quite a few things, none of which are personal matters, even though some who read this will already know I do have a few serious personal issues to be worried about at the moment too!
But, onto one of the reasons I am angry and upset, namely the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (ACRC), and especially some of the responses we are reading and hearing from politicians, service providers, health care professionals and most of the major advocacy organisations, and many others.
It followed an interim report (titled ‘Neglect’) published in October 2019, which curiously is no longer available on the Royal Commission website. Ps. If anyone reading this kept a copy, please send it to me.
So, today, I read a summary by two academics at the University of Wollongong, Anita Westbury and Kathy Eager, both of whom I respect greatly; one who I know quite well, and the other I only know via Twitter. Early on in their article titled, “Fundamental failure: Aged care a public good or competitive market? RC fails to address role of private providers”, they state;
“If the government or the community is looking for an elegant blueprint for how to fix aged care, they will not find it here. The final report, running to many hundreds of pages, is full of inconsistencies, contradictions and conflicts. In some ways it is a perfect reflection of the aged care sector itself.”
Although I have not had time to read the many volumes of the Final Report, I’ve skimmed through much of it, and I agree with that statement, and in fact, most of the things the authors have stated. Thank you for your articulate summary Kathy and Anita, however I do not agree with one.
Specifically, I disagree quite strongly with the comment made that, “Older people and their families will inevitably feel let down as both government and aged care providers have been handed a ‘get out of jail’ card.”
This is so far from the reality ‘we’ are facing, it was painful for me to read. Older people and people with dementia of all ages that I have spoken to over the last 2+ years during the ACRC, and especially since the Interim Report, and again this week, all tell me they are feeling angry. I am feeling angry too, and definitely not just ‘let down’.
Many or us are angry the two Commissioners were unable to agree on many of the recommendations, and see this as a major flaw in the outcome of the findings.
We are more angry that politicians on all sides are playing the blame game, instead of taking a bipartisan approach to FIXING the problems, which we have known about for decades, and through the many other investigations and reports over the last 20+ years.
Shame on them.
We are angry about the money spent to hold this Royal Commission, and many say they believe it will likely have been a waste of time and money. This is moneythat could have been spent on more inportant things, such as being used to help increase the numbers of home care packages, and reduce the waiting list. We, and they (both sides of politics) already knew what needed to be done to fix it.
We are angry that many of the health care professionals, service providers and well funded advocacy organisations have made the issues more about their own funding, their own ‘positions’ or about promoting their own organisations, rather than fixing the problem.
Shame on them.
I’m also sick of individuals blaming the political party they don’t vote for, stickign to their biased political views, and also refusing to see the bigger picture.
Shame on them too.
I know we are all free to our own opinions, and we live in a democracy in Australia, but it really is time to stop blaming others, and putch in and do something to help fix the prolems.
Human Rights are being ignored daily, and worse, the neglect and abuse has continued, in spite of the Royal Commission being in progress. A Regis Aged ‘Care’ facility in Western Australia has proven that quite recently.
Franky, there a lot of egos that really do need to be let go of…
And of course the issues of power and money, which are blog topics for another day!
Footnote: If the findings of, or responses to this Final Report bore you, then it is time to mute my website, as I think they will feature here often in the forseeable future. I do have a few other hot topics I will be talking (perhaps even ranting) about soon too, many of them also deeply concerning.