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Where’s the love in game of numbers

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The Final Report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was released on March 1, 2021.
Camera IconThe Final Report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was released on March 1, 2021. Credit: Jacinta Cantatore/Jacinta Cantatore

I’ve never been good at numbers.

I think that’s why I’m in the words game.

But, just for now, I’m going to give some numbers a go.

On October 8, 2018, the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove established the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

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Four Royal Commissioners oversaw the inquiry, which ran for 21/2 years.

During this time, 10,574 submissions were made, 6800 telephone calls were received and 641 witnesses gave evidence.

Start to finish, the inquiry cost $93.3 million. On March 1, the Royal Commissioners handed down 148 wide-ranging recommendations in Federal Parliament.

This final report contained five volumes, which are spread over eight sections, 2828 pages, and weighs about 9.7kg.

The report calls for fundamental reform of the aged-care system.

The Government announced it would begin working on a new consumer-focused Aged Care Act and committed $17.7 billion to reforms.

At the community forum in Binningup on Wednesday, it took less than 30 minutes for me to tear up.

My first encounters with the aged-care system were when my own grandparents suffered their own traumas, more than 15 years ago.

The new Aged Care Act the Government is creating would only come into effect from July 1, 2023.

That is two years and two days from today.

According to the Royal Commission, the average length of time a person spends in residential aged care before their death is two years and six months.

This means there are people currently in care who will not live to see the new Act and its reforms come into effect.

But these are all just numbers, and our loved ones are not numbers.

It is not good enough.

We need aged care reform now.

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