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Aged Care: Royal Commission and Beyond

Aged care failures have been widely reported for yonks with the responsible governments wringing their hands and giving the dodgy providers a wink wink and sometimes a nudge. Maybe they learnt something from the banking and financial services RC, that dealing with problems can be less politically painful than ignoring them and having it hit the fan, as well as what they are supposed to be about in the first place.

Some of the quotes in this article are telling. My fav is the PM (the one on 16 Sep 2018 for clarity) stating he could no longer ignore the alarming number of aged care operators “flouting the law and putting lives at risk”. If the reporter’s paraphrase is even close to accurate, it suggests the PM and his peers have been willingly watching it for some time while sitting on their hands.


While I think it is high time this sector was investigated I am concerned, as are others, about the timing. Why did it take so long exactly?

Is it that like the finance sector where the problems won’t go away and be forgotten no matter how much some would like it?
Is this part of a house-cleaning where the new PM in on the lookout for projects where he can be seen to be doing something good?
Is it misdirection, hoping to draw the news cycle away from matters where he cannot or will not act?
Was the previous PM so locked into survival mode that he couldn’t give it any attention?

It gives me no pleasure to say I am guessing all of the above. Such is the nature of the Nation’s capital today, where you would need a lot more candlepower than Diogenes lantern to find an honest man.


The more plausible explanation is that he decided the best he could do as a partisan pollie was to preempt the expose coming on Four Corners tomorrow, and try to put proactive spin on what was a forced reactive decision. As a minimum he can say ‘we knew and we acted’ (right anyone did!) rather than the ‘who knew?’ from the banking RC.


An article on the ABC News website today regarding tonight’s Four Corners program.

I would bet that a lot of persons involved in the management of these sub-standard “nursing homes” will not be looking forward to their practices being exposed nation-wide.


The ABC has just finished interviewing Greg Hunt, Minister for Health re the proposed Royal Commission into Aged Care. Interesting to note it was not Ken Wyatt, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care. Although Mr Hunt is a more senior minister and Deputy Leader in the Senate.

This appears to now have a significant focus. In a hint of what might be the focus of the terms of reference, Mr Hunt discussed the need to plan for the future of care for Aged Australians. Mr Hunt also indicated the Govt was already responding to the rise in non-compliance issues over the prior three years and has increased funding to the sector.

Why is there so much spin put on understanding and delivering what are fundamental needs of all aged members of our community? Can a Royal Commission show compassion? What ever the terms of reference finally set out, should it need a commissioner to tell the elected members their job on how to look after the approx 3.8M of us who are over 65 and who also still get to vote, or the approx 300,000 of these now in aged care facilities? :see_no_evil:


Another case of the LNP imposing huge funding cuts (I saw a claim that Scott Morrison cut $2B just from Aged Care when he was Treasurer) and then feigning surprise when things no longer work as they should due to lack of funding.

The Royal Commission is indeed necessary, because Aged Care should not be a profit making enterprise, but should be focusing on providing those that need it the best possible care to thank them for their contribution to our society over many years.

Equally, it is inappropriate that there are no dedicated facilities for those that need institutional care but are not elderly. Their requirements are completely different to the elderly.

It’s time we started to look after those who can’t look after themselves while letting them keep their self respect and dignity.


I remember my father going to institutional care when when he was in his 40s for alzheimers there is a definite lack here because the lack of staff that comfortable with some that age and mobility, lack similar age people leave the residents lacking stimulation causing even more mental and struggles for staff.


I just watched tonight’s episode of Four Corners which portrayed the absolutely disgraceful treatment of some of the residents in “nursing homes”.

It included practices ranging from some providers trying to do everything as cheaply as possible to some providers allegedly ripping off the Federal Government by falsely claiming that many patients were much higher care status than they actually were.

And of course, the industry spokesperson, who was the representative of the 3 monkeys, was not aware of any of the accusations.

No wonder these bottom feeding grubs oppose voluntary euthanasia. They do not want to allow a dignified death to the hands that feeds them.

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Here we go again, this is the third time over several years Retirement and Aged Care Facilities have been on the political agenda. I feel it is sometimes a smoke screen to ease other political problems.Last time this problem was raised about 14 months ago I was personally involved with my mothers treatment and got no results to date. Even the big companies who were talking big about class actions have appeared to have shut shop. Makes one wonder who pulls the strings on these matters and do they really care??.
Gary Landells


There are 3,800,000 reasons to care. That’s how many of us are over 65 years and likely to vote in the next federal election. You would reason this should matter to even the least compassionate politician.

And I also wonder how much of this is also a cruel ploy to avoid facing other issues, knowing that the intended Royal Commission will go past the looming election. It may be a fine line between action and just another token.


I think Mark and Gary are both right. There is good reason to have a RC, there is substance that needs investigating, it isn’t merely a distraction. But one of the reasons it is being brought on now is to function as a distraction, as while this topic is important there are more important topics that leaders do not want to deal with. It is quite possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason.


It,s nice to read that there are other people out there that care about AGED CARE PEOPLE and the FACILITIES that are offered. It would be GREAT if more PEOPLE made comments to these matters and maybe CHOICE could be part in stirring up more people to complain about these situations.Gary


FWIW Choice has highlighted a number of aged care related issues in recent years. This one is most relevant to the RC.

For others go to these search results at


Back in 1966 there was talk about the lack of care facilities for younger people. It was aged care or nothing.
It won’t happen in my lifetime!



10 years of no real or forward thinking government, what can one expect? All major companies are on the watchlist for further consumer trust breaches. The self-centred politicians certainly do not help.


Perhaps as part of the parliamentary pension entitlement it should be compulsory for a politician to move into one of these facilities once they turn 65 or what ever age retirement Is? If not they loose their pension.


Disability care must be doing fine. At least as well as banks, super, insurance and all those other fine industries government has trusted (protected?) such as aged care ( :roll_eyes: ).

This government consciously decides to learn nothing to the Nth degree possible, and responds with predictable arrogance as I see it.


Episode 2 of Who Cares is on Four Corners tonight at 8:30 PM.


As if the first episode was not disgusting enough, tonight’s episode of the Four Corners program definitely exceeded it.

Little wonder our older mentally and/or physically disabled persons want to be euthanised in preference to be subjected to the unbelievably disgraceful treatment some of them are subjected to in these so called “nursing homes”.


There are indeed fates worse than death. Such fates, market forces regularly provide.