A pitch to overhaul the aged care industry has been given a final push by workers, ahead of the handing down of the inquiry's final report today.
Workers and union representatives want an increase in funding to the aged care sector in order to address the "shocking tale of neglect" told in the royal commission's initial report.
The interim report found the system failed to meet the needs of older, vulnerable, citizens, did not deliver uniformly safe care, was unkind and uncaring towards older people and in many instances neglected them, when it was released in 2019.
Health Services Union members and president Gerard Hayes met with Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt at Parliament House on Thursday to press the case for decent funding and wages ahead of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety's final report this week.
The Health Services Union wants a pay rise of at least $5 per hour for workers in the industry, who it says are at breaking point.
Union representatives have pushed for a 0.65 per cent rise in the Medicare levy as a way to fund the increase.
The Medicare increase equates to each person paying approximately $6 extra each week, which Health Services Union president Gerard Hayes said would also provide an extra 90 minutes of care.
Ahead of the report's release, Mr Hayes said the union was not convinced the government would throw money at home care.
The union launched action with the Fair Work Commission in November to lift wages of the 200,000 workers by 25 per cent. If the case succeeds, it would take the wage for a qualified personal carer from $23.09 to $28.86 per hour.
Central Coast aged care worker Lindy Twyford said a wage increase would not only attract more skilled workers but also ensure current employees felt valued.
Sydney residential care volunteer co-ordinator Josie Peacock said too often shifts are going unfilled and the quality of care is compromised because there is just not enough staff to care for the residents.
"Often people think it's just old people going about their business, but their needs are extremely complex," Ms Peacock said.
"You've got high levels of dementia in aged care and these people need proper care 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
A spokesperson for the Health Minister said the commissioners would deliver the report to the Governor-General on Friday and the minister would only receive the report after that. The spokesperson said the minister will response by mid-next week.
"As has already been foreshadowed, the substantive response to what will be a significant reform will be in the upcoming budget."
Labor's health and ageing spokesman Mark Butler said it was a disgrace that aged care workers were paid some of the lowest wages in the community for performing such important and complex work.
"Aged care workers want to provide the best possible care for their residents, but they are exhausted and stretched to their limit," Mr Butler said.
"As we saw during the pandemic, they lack the resources they need to take care of vulnerable older Australians."