The Crikey linkfest tells the tale of the day:
Victoria’s aged care crisis has led to a wave of support, the Herald Sun ($) reports, with a specialist medical team alongside nurses from Victorian, NSW and South Australian hospitals being deployed to help “try to stem the deadly spread of COVID-19 in more than 80 aged-care homes”.
The crisis, as news.com.au notes, has also led to a relatively rare fracturing of mid-pandemic relations between the federal and state governments, with Premier Dan Andrews and Health Minister Greg Hunt — both of whom, it should be noted, have become visibly distressed amidst the ongoing tragedy — trading barbs over privatised facilities.
Significantly, Andrews noted that while the 769 cases have been identified across more than 80 aged care homes, just five cases were from state-owned facilities, a contrast federal Labor MP — and former nurse and ACTU president — Ged Kearney has linked to the historic lack of federal regulation of staffing levels and ratios.
On the federal side of things, Scott Morrison was reportedly frustrated with Andrews waiting until yesterday to suspend elective surgery at hospitals in order to redeploy nurses.
PS: According to The Age, the Australian Medical Association is calling for all homes to undergo urgent risk assessments, amidst claims from a senior AMA official the organisation has made repeated requests since late June for assessments to be included in the state government’s Coronavirus Plan for the Victorian Aged Care Sector.
PPS: The Australian ($)reports that just one in five aged care workers had completed the federal government’s personal protection training module by June 4, the eve of Victoria’s spike.
This sad state of affairs is the price of the virus “suppression” strategy. Once again, many years of failed state and federal policy is being exposed by the virus.
No pollie is going to admit it but a high aged body count is unavoidable unless we shift strategy to virus “elimination”.
With leadership and further fiscal boosts, VIC and NSW could do it in two to three months – just as NZ, WA, SA, TAS, QLD, NT and ACT have – without destroying the economy. Afterward, a fortress economy would be consistently stronger for longer than the convulsive lockdown and perpetual death economy we have now.
Deliberately sacrificing the aged in the hope of opening borders to boost house prices is unconscionable.