Concerns over aged care funding

CONCERNS have been raised over aged care sector funding following the death of a woman at a Coraki.

Martha McKee was a resident at Coraki's Mid Richmond Aged Care facility when she fell out of bed and a bed pole used to pull her out of bed pinned her by the neck, resulting in her dying from asphyxiation on July 28, 2010.

Aged and Community Services Far North Coast chairman Pip Carter said the Gillard government had stripped hundreds of millions from the aged care sector budget.

"The government has been under funding the industry for a number of years," he said.

"The government will say they have allocated all this new funding to the sector but after doing my budget I can tell you they haven't."

"We are finding it tougher and tougher for providers."

"The government, in their budget, have reduced the active funding by $430 million this year and I think they are going to do the same thing next year."

Mr Carter said funding pressures were being felt across the aged care sector around Australia as well as on the North Coast.

He said the government justified reducing the aged care budget by claiming aged care providers were rorting the system.

"They said many providers had been abusing the funding by claiming things they shouldn't have."

In response to a productivity commission enquiry in to the aged care sector, Mr Carter said the government launched their "living longer, living better" campaign.

"How can you be living longer and living better when you are cutting the funding to residential care," he asked.

Mr Carter said as a result of the funding cuts, pressure was being placed on care providers' budgets, resulting in reduced staffing levels.

"People may have to cut staffing numbers to look after people which really means quality of care will be compromised," he said.

"The Labor government, from my point of view, are not doing the right thing by the Australian people by cutting this funding."

"The government have got a dollar figure in mind and they have forgotten that they are looking after the care of people."

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