Posted on 19. Jun, 2013 in News

180 aged care beds have already closed as Denis Napthine moves towards the full privatisation of aged care facilities across Victoria, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Departmental figures show that there have been four closures of public aged care facilities, resulting in 180 less beds in the system than when the Coalition took office in 2010.

“Despite an ageing population, Mr Napthine has allowed the public aged care sector to shrink, and has plans for the full privatisation of aged care facilities across the state,” Mr Andrews said.

“There has been a steady decline in aged care beds since the Coalition took office in 2010, which has made a series of cuts to the aged care budget.

“Already Victoria has seen facilities close in Ballarat, Koroit, Melbourne and Williamstown, with another in Kyneton due to close by June 30.

“Despite the closure of the Koroit Nursing Home in his own electorate, Denis Napthine’s Government has foreshadowed moves for the full privatisation of aged care facilities in the most recent budget update.

“The privatisation has already begun with Rosebud Residential Aged Care Services quietly sold off late last year.

“These beds aren’t owned by Denis Napthine to sell them off. They are owned by all Victorians.”

Shadow Minister for Seniors and Ageing Jenny Mikakos said the move towards privatisation would limit choice for Victorian families.

“Mr Napthine’s plans to privatise aged care will limit choice for those living in outer suburban and regional areas, which could lead to people paying more or having to move to another area,” Ms Mikakos said.

“The public sector is already struggling under the weight of tighter budgets from the Napthine Government.

“The comparison couldn’t be clearer: under Labor we redeveloped more than 40 aged care facilities across Victoria and expanded the system to meet the rising demand.

“Mr Napthine mustn’t allow the care of seniors to be sold off to the highest bidder.”

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