National News

Victoria's aged care COVID19 crisis

Premier_Daniel_Andrews_edit.jpg

Victoria's aged care crisis has become so grim the premier says he wouldn't let his mum in virus-affected facilities.

Premier Daniel Andrews provoked a defensive response from the federal government when he said he didn't have confidence in some private facilities as coronavirus cases at Victorian aged care homes grew to 769.

"I cannot stand here and tell you that I have confidence that staff and management across a number of private sector aged care facilities are able to provide the care that is appropriate to keep their residents safe," Mr Andrews said on Tuesday.

"My mother is in her mid-70s, underlying health issues but she lives at home ... I would not let my mum be in some of these places, I just wouldn't," he said.

He added that the private centres aren't the state government's responsibility and said some stories coming out of nursing homes with outbreaks were unacceptable.

But federal health minister Greg Hunt vehemently rejected Mr Andrews' comments, saying he fully supported aged care workers.

An emotional Mr Hunt told reporters his father lived in a nursing home and said he could not imagine his family and father receiving better care.

"My father lived in one, and we knew that that meant he was in the latest stages of his life," he said.

"The idea that our carers, that our nurses, are not providing that care, I think, is a dangerous statement to make. They are wonderful human beings and I won't hear a word against them."

The premier also announced aged care residents in some homes heavily impacted by COVID-19 will be transferred into hospitals.

Image Credit: Swinburne University of Technology (swinburneuniversityoftechnology) on Flickr / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)