It's not only some nursing homes that provide poor services to the elderly in their care.
The home care support program is government-designed entrapment. Services must be delivered through a government subsidised "provider" who will charge administration fees of up to $10 a day.
This reduces the funds available in the My Aged Care package for direct assistance such as cleaning, gardening, and transport.
Also, while I am forced to use a provider, and to pay their fees, it is almost impossible to get timely assistance due to long waiting lists for services. This caused by high demand and a shortage of workers.
People should be asking if the My Aged Care structure is fit for purpose and a reasonable use of taxpayers' funds.
Neither party has said anything about improving the at-home support to reduce need for nursing home admissions.
Whilst there are anti-competition laws this "provider" entrapment seems to escape scrutiny by the media. If one does not want to sign up with a "provider" the full cost of any service has to be met privately. This is unfair and encourages high fees.
People should be able to engage in an open market which would deliver cheaper, more timely, and better quality services.
Despite record numbers of positive COVID cases on May 11 and continuing high numbers of people over 70 in Canberra hospital there appears to be collective denial about the ongoing seriousness of the pandemic in Canberra.
How can it be that decision makers in the ACT, and indeed every other Australian state and territory, have so obviously and comprehensively dropped the COVID ball?
There are a raft of epidemiologists and other health experts telling us that COVID is still very much with us and that effective public health measures such as mask wearing and vaccination should be promoted.
Instead there is a "We're over COVID, let's get back to normal life" attitude that has pervaded not just the general public but those in decision making roles in government, be they politicians or bureaucrats.
What part of the current health crisis don't these people get?
The equivalent of a fully loaded 737 are now dying of COVID every week. We've had 5000 deaths in the first four months of this year. That is more than for the whole of 2020 and 2021.
Why are the decision makers doing so little as vaccination rates stall?
A widespread public health campaign to increase vaccinations in all age groups and to inform people about long COVID is urgently needed.
The single most effective, and easy to implement, decision would be to immediately reintroduce the mask mandate; high-protection P2 masks could be distributed at low cost.
On Wednesday, May 11, The Canberra Times reported that the ACT equalled its record for new COVID cases with 1242 positive results on Tuesday, May 10.
As most people develop COVID symptoms four to five days after being in contact with a person with COVID-19, could this record number of infections be a result of the mostly unmasked and shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of 11,661 that attended the AFL GWS v Geelong match at Manuka Oval four days earlier on Friday, May 6?
We watched the debate. Albanese looked like a featherless rooster that wants to fly, but doesn't have the ability or know how. Crowing a lot does not grow feathers or ability.
His promise to increase wages in line with inflation is based on good intentions but will only increase inflation.
All products, including essentials such as food and clothing, will become more expensive.
That happened under Keating. Wage increases became a liability on families because every product became too expensive to buy and families suffered.
Sorry mate, you lost our vote to common sense.
We remember Keating's 17 per cent interest and "the recession we had to have". And we had friends who lost their homes and businesses as a result.
The Prime Minister might like to switch to the Progressive Pedantry Party (3Ps). In refusing to denounce Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, he says he wasn't "implying" (sic) that young people can and do take "life-threatening" gender changing surgery lightly.
Perhaps he wasn't, but I'll bet he was hoping that his supporters would infer that he was. Furthermore, I am certain he also wanted them to think "young people", (i.e. under 18) could obtain such surgery - which they can't.
On second thoughts, the 3Ps stands for accuracy in language usage, which would automatically disbar ScoMo. Pity the Coalition doesn't have a similar rule.
Melissa Meehan's article on the struggling mental health system in regional Australia ("Regional post-COVID mental health crisis", canberratimes.com.au, May 4) raises a troubling trend that is prevalent on a national scale. As demand for mental health support outstrips supply, companies are well-placed to support the system with early intervention.
The Australian Counselling Association reports waiting times of four to six weeks for a quarter of those living in rural and regional areas, but this is just the tip of a deep iceberg. As one of Australia's largest Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), we've had countless reports of waiting times as long as nine months.
With more than two thirds of regional Australians experiencing depression and anxiety over the past two years, it's never been more important for mental health and wellbeing providers to work together to support those in need. No one should have to suffer in silence.
I've been encouraged in recent months that many who reach out to us have done so following a recommendation by their general practitioner. It's an important reminder that EAPs work alongside private practitioners with the same goal: to support as many people in need, as quickly as possible.
By offering counselling services through an EAP, mental health care wait times can be drastically reduced - helping to provide interim support for those in need.
This shows that while workplaces don't provide long-term medical assistance, they do have a vital role to play. Early intervention and support is critical in combating the mental health crisis and the work leaders do in their own organisations to foster employee wellbeing is an invaluable tool in providing holistic care.
In the coming months as we ease into life post-lockdowns, I hope to see even more organisations, particularly in regional areas, leading the charge for workplace wellbeing.
I was delighted to read the news that the government has tossed $10 million into the pot to help regional newspapers. But I was not really surprised to see that Bridget McKenzie really does not understand the importance of local press.
Sure, out here in the boondocks, we enjoy stories about local events like theatre groups and cake stalls, but our interest in news goes beyond our parish pump, or even our state, to the national and international level.
We need informed stories at all levels to help us keep up with the machinations of the government and powerbrokers. It's called "keeping the bastards honest."
None of the candidates' handouts discuss BTL (below-the-line voting). Only the Greens' handout even shows all the Senate candidates below the line, but the text is too small to read. Both Kim Rubenstein and David Pocock only have a one and two in each other's squares, and you have to read the text to make sure you fill in one to six above the line for a valid vote. I hope this doesn't lead to informal votes not being counted.
No candidate tells you to number at least one to 12 below the line - some people might read "number one to six" as applying to below the line as well. Personally I have never voted ATL (above the line), as I always want to pick my own preferences rather than any party's preferences.
Although we elect only two senators in the ACT, the Australian Electoral Commission insists, in its practice voting pages, that above the line we must number at least six boxes. There is no practice example for the territories. Is it correct for us to number at least two boxes above the line? And what is the minimum below the line? We have 23 candidates standing for two places.
I suggest the young lady who chaired Barnaby Joyce's appearance at the National Press Club on Wednesday would be a natural to chair the next leaders' debate. When Barnaby suffered a potentially highly problematic blood nose, she rose to the occasion with charm, grace and dignity. ScoMo and Albo would shout over her at their own peril.
Leon Arundell (Letters, May 9) questions why Jo Clay proposes to increase greenhouse emissions by increasing bus services. One would hope she is also proposing to move much more quickly to electrify the ACT bus fleet than the government's currently slow program.
Ministers Fletcher and McKenzie have the same regard for "free press" as vampires have for garlic. Instead of ripping back all the advertising from Facebook and Twitter and enforcing taxation on their Australian transactions, $10 million is thrown at the squeaking hinge of rising newsprint prices.
Why is Tanya Plibersek being criticised for an apparent lack of joint appearances with Anthony Albanese while no one is adversely commenting on the lack of joint appearances of female members of the government frontbench with Scott Morrison during his campaign?
L. Barnard (Letters, May 9) is right to ask what the other Canberra senator has done for Canberra since saddling ratepayers with the outrageous cost of the light rail. If any sort of reply is forthcoming, could you please let me know?
Aspiring teachers are going to have to undertake literacy and numeracy tests to ensure they are appropriately skilled. Isn't that what primary and secondary school is meant to do?
Ed Highley (Letters, May 10) after two years of a pandemic where many people lost their jobs Australia has four per cent unemployment. He asks where our PM has gotten us. In a very strong position, I think.
What are the views of independents David Pocock and Kim Rubenstein on our controversial Tram? I can find nothing in their brochures. The Greens' support is a foregone conclusion.
Political "donations" are the single most significant source of corruption of our political system, always made in the clear expectation of favourable treatment, whether legislative or financial. Until they're outlawed, nothing will change.
Heritage listings are clearly the insultingly malleable playthings of our jumpy, paranoid government ("Lake's heritage rules won't slow rail: govt", May 11, p 2).
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