Port Lincoln aged care facility joins day of action

Matthew Flinders Home joined aged care facilities in calling for more government attention on issues in the industry during a National Day of Action on Tuesday.

A small group of staff, volunteers, clients and residents of the facility gathered on the Port Lincoln foreshore Tuesday morning to support campaigns from two peak industry bodies, Aged Care Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA).

Matthew Flinders Home chief executive officer Mike McKeown said more than 43 per cent of aged care facilities nationwide were operating at a loss.

He said the biggest cost to any major health organisation, including aged care was staff wages and although Matthew Flinders Home was in a good position with its staff, others across Australia would have looked at reducing staff levels already.

"It's absolutely essential for the future of aged care that the government puts some attention to it," he said.

Under its 'I Care for Aged Care' campaign LASA is calling for politicians to fix the funding emergency for aged care, legislate wait times of no more than three months to access essential care and services and invest in workforce development.

ACSA's recommendations include extending the 9.5 per cent funding injection until the Royal Commission's recommendations can be implemented.

Mr McKeown said the Royal Commission would not come out with initial findings until at least October and with full findings until at least March so facilities could not afford to wait for improvements.

"Hopefully we're making a small contribution to a larger effort that's happening across Australia," he said.

Sally Perry was one of the residents who attended the gathering on the foreshore and said it was a privilege to be able to take a stand and make their presence felt.

"We're stepping to the fore to make sure our needs are acknowledged," she said.

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