Only 31pc of aged care staff have had their jab

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 23-Jun-21

It has been revealed that as of the week beginning 22 June, just 31 per cent of aged care workers have told their employer that they have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshi said that 31 per cent was "nowhere near good enough", and that aged care staff should be subject to mandatory vaccination requirements. Opposition health spokesman Mark Butler has accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of leaving aged care workers to fend for themselves, while he noted that Morrison had "promised to fully vaccinate aged care workers by Easter".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Nursing home reforms set to raise standards

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 13-May-21

Changes announced in the May 2021 Budget will shift aged-care funding out of the hands of providers and give older Australians greater choice of nursing homes. Aged-care experts contend that this will increase competition in the sector and force poorly-performing aged-care facilities to lift their standards. Aged-care homes will also be required to provide each resident with a minimum of 200 minutes of care each day from October 2023. However, unions contend that the sector will continue to face staff shortages unless the government takes action to increase the wages of aged-care workers.

CORPORATES

Aged care tax killed off

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 5-Mar-21

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has acknowledged that funding for the aged-care sector needs to be increased, but he says that growing the economy is the best way to do this. The final report of the aged-care royal commission has recommended increasing funding for the sector via the tax system; however, Tony Negline from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand says this is not appropriate, given that the bulk of aged-care funding already comes from taxpayers. Negline has proposed options such as requiring nursing home residents to use the equity in their family home and a reduction in the capital gains tax discount.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY, CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Split over aged-care reforms

Original article by Simon Benson, Geoff Chambers, Stephen Lunn
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Mar-21

The federal government will release the final report of the aged-care royal commission on 1 March. The two commissioners, Tony Pagone QC and Lynelle Briggs, are believed to be in agreement on more than 100 recommendations. However, they are said to be in conflict on a number of issues and will make some separate recommendations. Amongst other things, they are believed to have disagreed with regard to the future oversight and funding of the aged-care sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY

Rip up aged care, start over

Original article by Stephen Lunn
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 23-Oct-20

Australia’s aged-care system is no longer ‘fit for purpose’ and requires a major overhaul, according to Peter Rozen QC. He is one of the counsel assisting the royal commission into the sector. Rozen and Peter Gray QC have made a 500-page submission to the inquiry which features 124 recommendation, including the introduction of mandatory staff ratios and a legally enforceable duty of care for aged-care providers. Rozen says that at least one in five nursing home residents have received substandard care, while it is estimated that about 50 are sexually abused each week.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY

Aged care: the sorry truth

Original article by Stephen Lunn
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Nov-19

The interim report of the royal commission into aged care has described the aged care system as being in a state that "diminishes Australia as a nation". Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck says the report has put the government, the industry and the Australian community on notice. The report claims that Australia has developed an ageist mindset that has led to a failure to properly value and engage with older ­people, and this has translated into "apparent indifference" towards aged-care services. The report calls for urgent action on three issues: the use of chemical restraints in nursing homes; getting 6,000 young disabled people out of aged-care homes as soon as practicable; and an immediate boost to funding for high-need, in-home care recipients.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HEALTH

Aged care next for a pay rise from taxpayers

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 1-May-19

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says Labor has no plans to extend its taxpayer-funded pay rise for childcare workers to other low-paid sectors. He says the policy takes into account the "unique" status of childcare workers. However, Council on the Ageing CEO Ian Yates says increasing the wages of aged-care staff should also be a priority for Labor if it wins the election, noting that they are also underpaid and undertrained. Shorten has signalled that Labor could look at wage increases for these workers after the aged-care royal commission delivers its final report in April 2020.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COUNCIL ON THE AGEING, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY

Aged-care operators feel sting of royal commission

Original article by Turi Condon
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 18-Sep-18

Shares in aged-care operators plunged on 17 September, following the announcement by the federal government that it would hold a royal commission into the sector. Japara Healthcare, Estia Health and Regis Healthcare shed more than 17 per cent apiece. Leading Age Services Australia CEO Sean Rooney said he supports the royal commission, but denied suggestions that the sector has engaged in price gouging.

CORPORATES
JAPARA HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX JHC, REGIS HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX REG, ESTIA HEALTH LIMITED – ASX EHE, LEADING AGE SERVICES AUSTRALIA LIMITED, LEND LEASE GROUP LIMITED – ASX LLC, STOCKLAND – ASX SGP, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AVEO GROUP – ASX AOG

Seniors big winners in budget lift

Original article by Simon Benson, Rick Morton, David Uren
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 8-May-18

The Federal Government’s May 2018 Budget will feature a range of measures targeted at older Australians. Amongst other things, the government is expected to provide funding for an additional 20,000 people to receive in-home care, while a scheme that enables retirees to remain in the workforce without affecting their pension entitlements is tipped to be expanded. Meanwhile, people on low and middle incomes are expected to receive a tax cut of about $A10 a week.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

Troubled Estia puts Weiss in charge

Original article by Sarah-Jane Tasker
The Australian – Page: 19 & 23 : 13-Dec-16

Australian-listed Estia Health has advised that Gary Weiss will succeed Pat Grier as chairman of the aged-care group. Weiss became a director of Estia in 2015, following its acquisition of Kennedy Health Care. Estia will undertake a $A136.8m capital raising in order to reduce its debt, with the new shares to be offered at $A2.10 apiece. Estia shares were fetching $A2.68 on 12 December 2016, prior to a trading halt ahead of the capital raising.

CORPORATES
ESTIA HEALTH LIMITED – ASX EHE, KENNEDY HEALTH CARE, JAPARA HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX JHC, REGIS HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX REG, SUMMERSET GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX SNZ