It is not just some nursing homes that provide poor services to the elderly in their care.
The home care support program is a trap designed by the government. Services must be provided through a government-subsidized “provider” who will charge administration fees of up to $10 per day.
This reduces the funds available in the My Aged Care package for direct assistance such as cleaning, gardening and transport.
Also, while I am forced to use a provider and pay their fees, it is nearly impossible to get timely assistance due to long waiting lists for services. This is caused by high demand and a shortage of workers.
People should ask whether the My Aged Care structure is fit for purpose and a reasonable use of taxpayer funds.
Neither party has said anything about improving in-home support to reduce the need for nursing home admissions.
While anti-competition laws exist, this “provider” trap seems to escape media scrutiny. If you do not wish to sign up with a “vendor”, the full cost of any service must be paid privately. This is unfair and encourages high fees.
People should be able to engage in an open market that offers cheaper, more timely and better quality services.
More action on COVID please
Despite the record number of positive COVID cases on May 11 and the high number of people over 70 in Canberra hospital, there seems to be collective denial about the ongoing severity of the pandemic in Canberra.
How can it be that ACT decision-makers, and indeed all other Australian states and territories, have so obviously and comprehensively dropped the COVID ball?
There are a number of epidemiologists and other health experts telling us that COVID is still very much with us and that effective public health measures such as mask use and vaccination should be promoted.
Instead, there is an attitude of “we’re over COVID, let’s get back to normal life” that has permeated not just the general public, but also those in decision-making positions in government, whether they are politicians or bureaucrats.
What part of the current health crisis are these people not getting?
The equivalent of a fully loaded 737 is now dying of COVID every week. We had 5,000 deaths in the first four months of this year. That’s more than for the entire year 2020 and 2021.
Why are decision makers doing so little while vaccination rates stagnate?
A broad public health campaign is urgently needed to increase vaccinations across all age groups and inform people about the long-term COVID.
The most effective and easiest decision to implement would be to immediately reintroduce the mask mandate; high protection P2 masks can be distributed at low cost.
On Wednesday, May 11, the times of canberra reported that ACT matched its record for new COVID cases with 1242 positive results as of Tuesday, May 10.
Since most people develop symptoms of COVID four to five days after coming into contact with a person with COVID-19, this record number of infections could be a result of the 11,661 unmasked and shoulder-to-shoulder crowd that attended the AFL GWS v. Geelong game at Manuka Oval four days early on Friday, May 6th?
We watched the debate. Albanese looked like a featherless rooster that wants to fly, but he doesn’t have the skill and doesn’t know how. Singing a lot doesn’t create feathers or skill.
His promise to raise wages in line with inflation is based on good intentions, but it will only increase inflation.
All products, including essentials such as food and clothing, will become more expensive.
This happened under Keating. Wage increases became a liability for families because each product became too expensive to buy and families suffered.
Sorry buddy, you missed our vote for common sense.
We remember Keating’s 17 percent interest rate and “the recession we had to have.” And we’ve had friends who lost their homes and businesses as a result.
The prime minister may want to switch to the Progressive Pedantic Party (3Ps). In refusing to denounce liberal candidate Katherine Deves, he says he was not “implying” (sic) that young people can and do take “life-threatening” gender reassignment surgery lightly.
Maybe it wasn’t, but I bet he hoped his supporters would infer that it was. Also, I’m sure he also wanted them to think that “young people”, (ie under 18) could get such surgery – which they can’t.
On second thought, the 3Ps stand for accuracy in language usage, which would automatically rule out ScoMo. Too bad the Coalition doesn’t have a similar rule.
Melissa Meehan’s article on the struggling mental health system in regional Australia (“Post-COVID Regional Mental Health Crisis”, canberratimes.com.au, May 4) raises a troubling trend that is prevalent on a national scale. As demand for mental health support outstrips supply, companies are well positioned to support the system with early intervention.
The Australian Counseling Association reports wait times of four to six weeks for a quarter of people living in rural and regional areas, but that’s just the tip of a deep iceberg. As one of Australia’s largest Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) we have had numerous reports of wait times of up to nine months.
With more than two-thirds of regional Australians experiencing depression and anxiety in the past two years, it has never been more important for mental health and wellness professionals to work together to support those in need. No one should suffer in silence.
I have been encouraged in recent months that many who have come to us have done so following a recommendation from their GP. It’s an important reminder that EAPs work alongside private doctors with the same goal: to support as many people in need as possible, as quickly as possible.
By offering counseling services through an EAP, mental health care wait times can be dramatically reduced – helping to provide temporary support to those in need.
This shows that while workplaces do not provide long-term health care, they do have a vital role to play. Early intervention and support is critical in combating the mental health crisis, and the work leaders do in their own organizations to promote employee well-being is an invaluable tool in providing holistic care.
In the coming months, as we move closer to post-lockdown life, I expect to see even more organizations, particularly in regional areas, leading the fight for workplace wellness.
Melita Griffin, Director, AccessEAP, Hobart, Tasmania
I was delighted to read the news that the government threw $10 million into the pot to help regional newspapers. But I wasn’t really surprised to see that Bridget McKenzie really doesn’t understand the importance of the local press.
Sure, here at boondocks, we like stories about local events like theater groups and cake stands, but our interest in news goes beyond our parish bomb, or even our state, to the national and international level.
We need informed stories at all levels to help us keep track of the machinations of government and the powerful. It’s called “keeping the bastards honest”.
No candidate handouts discuss BTL (below the line voting). Only the Greens’ pamphlet shows all the Senate candidates below the line, but the text is too small to read. Both Kim Rubenstein and David Pocock only have one and two in each other’s squares, and you have to read the text to make sure you fill in one to six above the line for a valid vote. I hope this doesn’t make informal votes go uncounted.
No candidate tells you to number at least one through 12 below the line – some people might read “number one through six” as applying below the line as well. I personally have never voted for ATL (above the line) as I always want to choose my own preferences rather than any party’s preferences.
Although we elect only two senators to the ACT, the Australian Election Commission insists on its practical voting pages that above the line we must number at least six boxes. There is no example of practice for the territories. Is it correct to number at least two boxes above the line? And what is the minimum below the line? We have 23 candidates running for two vacancies.
I suggest that the young woman who chaired Barnaby Joyce’s appearance at the National Press Club on Wednesday would be a natural to chair the next leaders debate. When Barnaby suffered a potentially highly troublesome bloody nose, she rose to the occasion with charm, grace, and dignity. ScoMo and Albo would yell about her at their own risk.
Leon Arundell (Letters, May 9) questions why Jo Clay proposes to increase greenhouse gas emissions by increasing bus services. She is also expected to be proposing to move much faster to electrify the ACT bus fleet than the government’s currently sluggish program.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
Ministers Fletcher and McKenzie have the same regard for the “free press” that vampires have for garlic. Instead of taking all advertising off Facebook and Twitter and imposing taxes on their Australian transactions, $10 million is thrown on the noisy hinge of rising newsprint prices.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan, NSW
Why is Tanya Plibersek being criticized for an apparent lack of joint appearances with Anthony Albanese, while no one is commenting negatively on the lack of joint appearances by female members of the government frontbench with Scott Morrison during his campaign?
L. Barnard (Letters, May 9) is right to ask what the other Senator from Canberra has done for Canberra since burdening taxpayers with the exorbitant cost of light rail. If there is any kind of answer, could you let me know?
Aspiring teachers will have to take literacy and numeracy tests to ensure they are adequately qualified. Isn’t that what primary and secondary schools are supposed to do?
Angela Kueter-Lux, Bruce
Ed Highley (Letters, May 10) after two years of pandemic where many people lost their jobs Australia has 4% unemployment. He asks where our PM took us. In a very strong position, I think.
What are independent David Pocock and Kim Rubenstein’s views on our controversial Tram? I can’t find anything in your brochures. The support of the Greens is an inescapable conclusion.
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
Political “donations” are the single most significant source of corruption in our political system, always made in the clear expectation of favorable treatment, whether legislative or financial. Until they are banned, nothing will change.
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