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Thursday, 17 October 2013

EDWARDS CALLS ON MINISTER TO RULE OUT AGED CARE PRIVATISATION IN BENDIGO AND REGION

Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards called on the Minister for Aging the Hon David Davis in Parliament yesterday to categorically rule out the privatisation of any aged care beds in Bendigo and the region.

 “I have called on the Minister for this assurance because, despite previous denials    about intentions regarding regional and rural aged care facilities, four out of the six closed to date have been in regional areas, including Kyneton, Ballarat and in my electorate the closure of Renshaw House in Castlemaine in 2011.”

 “With State budget documents’ showing the government expects to save $75 million in the next four years when private providers take over management of the State’s aged care beds in Melbourne, the Bendigo community and its surrounding regional centres would like to know if they too are on the government’s hit list for aged care privatisation.”

 “Any privatisation of public aged care facilities will not result in any positive outcomes for residents or staff.”

 “Sadly however, privatisation is in the Liberal National Party members DNA;

Regional Victorians will never forget the former Kennett Government’s rampaging privatisation agenda.”

 “Since coming to office the Napthine minority Government has shrunk the public residential aged care sector by 284 beds. Tender documents to begin the State-wide sell off of aged care beds have already been listed on the Government’s website.”

 “This agenda of privatisation is purely a cost cutting measure, that will have a negative effect on patient care and lead to nursing staff redundancies.”

 “It will mean limited choice for seniors locally, fee hikes and increased cost of nursing care, and the possibility of elderly people having to move from a community they are familiar with to another area.”

 “The comparison between the previous Labor Government and Liberal National Governments could not be more stark; under Labor more than 40 aged care facilities in Victoria were redeveloped or built including in Bendigo the Joan Pinder nursing home and the Stella Anderson 60 bed nursing home.”

 “I call on the Minister to categorically rule out the privatisation of any central Victorian publicly owned aged care facilities - The care of our seniors should not be sold off to the highest bidder.”

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