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Isolated incidents do not reflect hardworking Tasmanian sector

Recent media reports regarding aged care interstate have included some concerning individual
stories, however, they do not paint an accurate portrait of aged care in Tasmania, according to Aged
and Community Services Tasmania CEO Darren Mathewson.

Mr Mathewson said that the Tasmanian aged care sector had achieved some significant results in
recent years, highlighting the sector’s willingness to innovate and invest in workforce development as
its strongest asset.

“We see the next decade as an exciting time in aged care in Tasmania, with the introduction of a
number of new programs and initiatives helping to set our workforce up for whatever challenges may
rise in the future,” Mr Mathewson said.

“Our Aged Care Graduate Nurse Program is going from strength to strength with around 60 new
nurses onboard, and we’re looking to build on this success by creating an enrolled nurse program.

“We have also established an attraction, recruitment and retention strategy, an industry-wide
education and training program as well as New Directions – an education placement program for new
Certificate III carers.”

Mr Mathewson pointed to excessive regulation and compliance requirements as diverting resources
away from critical services including clinical care.

“While the Federal government continues to promote its aged care reform package, the reality is that
it only contributes an additional $500 million to the system over the next four years,” he said.

“With over 1.3 million people receiving aged care across the country, either in residential facilities or
via home and community care packages, this money won’t go as far as the Government would have
us believe.

“We desperately need more new funding for our workforce.

“Current funding for the workforce supplement is not new, and is not affordable particularly for smaller
providers, which dominate the Tasmanian sector. We think this funding should flow to all providers so
they can support their workforce without unnecessary requirements.”

Mr Mathewson said palliative care funding would be injected into the State under the Tasmanian
Health Assistance Package, but it was vital that this funding also flow to residential care facilities.

“The Tasmanian aged care sector is filled with dedicated and hardworking individuals, I have the
utmost confidence in our facilities and workforce to continue delivering quality services to older
Tasmanians,” Mr Mathewson said.
Aged and Community Services Tasmania CEO Darren Mathewson.

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