Government’s surge workforce support a ‘drop in the ocean’

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The Albanese Government’s surge workforce is filling less than 5 per cent of vacant shifts in the aged care sector based on the industry’s estimates of COVID-19 and influenza-related staff absenteeism. Source: The Australian.

Analysis of Department of Health data reveals the Commonwealth’s surge workforce – which includes GPs, nurses, personal care workers and allied health workers – has filled an average of 2168 shifts a week since the Government took office in May.

The Aged and Community Care Providers Association has estimated the industry is facing about 48,000 unfilled shifts in residential aged care homes each week. With COVID-19 and influenza case numbers rising in recent weeks amid a winter Omicron wave – which peaked at more 15,000 cases in aged care in late July – ACCPA estimates about 10 per cent of staff are off work sick.

ACCPA chief executive Paul Sadler said the current support from the Government was a “drop in the ocean” of what was needed.

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said the royal commission had acknowledged that workforce shortages had been a “longstanding problem” and the Government was responding.

“We absolutely need more workers in aged care, which is why we made our submission to the Fair Work Commission on Monday for a significant and meaningful pay rise,” she said.

FULL STORY

Aged care surge workforce help a ‘drop in ocean’ (By Jess Malcolm, The Australian

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