The aged care Royal Commission hearings in Mudgee have been hard to listen to, but the message is one we all need to hear: aged care in rural and remote communities desperately needs more support.
We thank the Royal Commission for taking on this issue. There are clearly inequalities in the availability of aged care between the cities and the country.
The challenges in reaching people in remote locations are significant, as is supporting a large, well-trained and well-equipped workforce across such a big area.
As the largest not-for-profit provider of ageing services in NSW and the ACT, Uniting is mission-driven and focused on providing services and supports for people who are disadvantaged, vulnerable or isolated.
Many providers are struggling to stay in business, especially in regional and remote communities.
Like many others, as indicated in the Royal Commission's Interim Report, more resources are needed if the needs of older people are to be properly met.
Uniting is committed to the increased transparency, greater exploration of new models and investment in the people who deliver care every day, that ought to also come with these additional resources.
I take this opportunity to pay tribute to our amazing staff in rural and remote areas who do incredible work under very tough conditions.
The Royal Commission is a hard but necessary process, and one I hope will lead to the transformation of the sector, so it can deliver the high-quality care and dignity that older Australians deserve.
Saviour Buhagiar, Director, Ageing, Uniting
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