The Queensland Government has today introduced a new Bill to State Parliament, which will help elderly residents and their families make more informed decisions about healthcare facilities.
Under the new laws, public residential aged care homes will be required to report their average daily resident care hours quarterly.
It’s understood private residential aged care facilities can choose not to report this information, but their decision to opt-out will be highlighted beside their name on a new interactive website, which the public will be able to view online at any time.
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The Health Transparency Bill also requires Queensland Health’s residential aged care facilities to have a minimum nurse skill mix of 50 per cent and for 30 per cent of the total care staff to be registered nurses.
They must also provide a minimum average of 3.65 hours of nursing and personal care to residents daily.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the new Bill is about making sure our parents and grandparents are treated with the appropriate levels of care they deserve.
“The Palaszczuk Government is sick of dodgy contractors and greedy owners exploiting vulnerable Queenslanders for profit,” he said.
“Even though the Federal Government is responsible for the sector’s regulation, this is one way we can make them more accountable.”
Minister Miles says that when enacted, the bill will “help open up private and public facilities to similar levels of scrutiny, which will help improve the care provided to older Queenslanders.”
“Queensland families want to know if their loved one gives their life savings to a company to care for them in their old age, what exactly are they paying for? Enough staff with the right skill mix to care for them? Or another Lamborgini for the CEO?” he said.
The Health Transparency Bill comes in the wake of the Gold Coast’s Earle Haven crisis in July, which saw more than 70 elderly residents evacuated from the home over a contract dispute.