This report provides several case studies of large Australian aged care operators that demonstrate the urgent need for government reforms to require transparency and public accountability on federal aged care funding. The Royal Commission’s two-year review found a system characterised by neglect, the title of its interim report. Despite major recommendations little has been done to reform the underlying structural problems in the sector. Providing additional funding without improving transparency and accountability will not improve care. Those already profiting from the publicly funded sector may line their pockets further while understaffing and neglect continue.
Residents of Australian aged care facilities deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not as a steady and stable source of public funding. The predominately female – and often immigrant – aged care workforce are some of the lowest paid workers in Australia. These are matters of human rights for residents and workers and systemic discrimination must end. As the Royal Commission and pandemic have exposed, this sector is in crisis and workers urgently need more time to provide quality care. Reforms to require transparency and accountability, so that public funding is directed at care, are clear and simple. What has been missing is the political will.