Australia's aged-care system is broken. There is not one part of Australia's aged-care system that is not in crisis. There are currently 120,000 older Australians who are waiting for aged care at home. A few weeks ago I met with one of them, a resident of Aspley, named Joyce. Joyce is delightful. She is 98 years old, legally blind, needs a walker and was assessed as needing low-level residential care.
It took over three months to have her care increased from level 2 to level 3, and she has been told there is a 12-month waiting period to get to level 4. Joyce told me that she thinks she will die before getting to level 4 care, and, sadly, more than 16,000 people have died—in one year—waiting for their approved package. Fourteen thousand had to enter residential aged care because they could no longer stay at home waiting for care that wasn't coming. Others enter the hospital system, often, through our emergency departments.
With this in mind, there is damning new evidence that the Morrison government received advice from the Department of Health eight months ago on how to fund more home-care packages—but it ignored this advice. Why did the Morrison government ignore this advice when it knew 120,000 older Australians were waiting for their approved home-care package? On top of the home-care packages waitlist crisis, a week doesn't go by without another disturbing account. It's not good enough for Joyce, it's not good enough for me and it's not good enough for older Australians.