The Morrison government will establish a royal commission into the aged care sector in response to damning incidents of neglect, abuse and negligence in nursing homes across the country, the Guardian reports.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said incidences of older people being hurt by failures of care could not be excused and he was determined to know how widespread the problems were.
Making the announcement on Sunday, Morrison said there was a “disturbing trend” of abuse and non-compliance across the sector, with the Department of Health shutting one aged care service “every day”.
His announcement comes nearly 12 months after South Australia’s Oakden aged care facility was closed following horrific evidence of elder abuse and neglect.
It came a day before the ABC’s Four Corners program aired a highly anticipated two-part investigation of the treatment of elderly Australians in aged care homes.
The ease with which Morrison has announced a royal commission into the aged care sector stands in contrast with his long-standing opposition to establishing a banking royal commission.
But the immigration minister, David Coleman, said Morrison was “getting out on the front foot” with this decision, and the Business Council of Australia’s chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, said it was a “spot-on call” by Morrison.
Morrison justified his decision by saying he had learned from his experience of opposing the banking royal commission for so long.
The Australian Medical Association, Disabled People’s Organisations Australia, Leading Age Services Australia and Dementia Australia also welcomed the royal commission.
Who Cares? (ABC Four Corners)