Catholic Health says Govt Dept cannot probe abuse

Catholic Health Australia chief executive Francis Sullivan said it is "important that any (nursing home abuse) complaints process is independent of the Department (of Health and Ageing), because of the department's influence over funding."

Sweeping powers to investigate allegations of abuse and inadequate care in nursing homes will be given to a federal body under measures to combat the abuse of elderly people.

"Basically we should be elevating the position of complaints commissioner to an aged care commissioner covering human rights," said Mr Sullivan

The Federal Minister for Ageing, Santo Santoro, also flagged a significant funding increase for aged care in the May budget and changes to improve the financial sustainability of high-care nursing homes.

A spokesman for the minister said it had not been decided whether the Government would set up a new federal body or a new ombudsman-type role to administer the new powers, or strengthen the existing complaints resolution body.

Labor's aged care spokeswoman, Jan McLucas, said she looked forward to seeing the detail of the minister's proposal.

Action on abuse of aged (The Age 30/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health wants Govt to fund action against abuse (CathNews 16/3/06)
Catholic Health backs power for Minister to address scandal (CathNews 22/2/06)

Nurses, St Vincents fail to reach pay agreement (ABC Victoria 29/3/06)
Taking care of the spiritual side of illness (Sydney Morning Herald 30/3/06)
Government Accused of Conducting a Policy of Indoctrination (The Universe 29/3/06)

30 Mar 2006