‘Disgraceful’ number of aged care facilities spending a daily $10 or less on food per person

Nov 14, 2022
Aged care providers spend $10 or less on food. Source: Getty

The Australian senate has heard that a “disgraceful” number of aged care facilities are spending an inadequate daily amount of $10 or less per resident throughout the 2021-2022 financial year.

As reported by the Courier Mail, Shadow Minister for Aged Care Anne Ruston brought a Freedom of Information (FOI) report collected by News Corp Australia, showing 1,500 facilities with redacted names, saying Australians deserved to know the shockingly inadequate amount being spent on feeding their loved ones.

“At what point am I told there is a significant risk that my parent or loved one is not getting a standard of nutritional care that I think most Australians would expect in an aged care facility?” Ms Ruston said.

The FOI showed 37 instances of providers spending a mere $6 a day on food per president, with 883 reported to the commission by the Department of Health where 381 were labelled medium risk for noncompliance, and 42 were found to be high risk.

The senate heard that 691 providers are currently being investigated after being referred to the Department of Health this year.

Dietitians Australia CEO Robert Hunt said the commission needs to focus on ensuring residents are sufficiently fed and holding providers responsible for their deficient nutrition standards.

“Six dollars per day is disgraceful,” Hunt said.

“With the impact of inflation on food prices, we would have expected to see an increase in spending at this time.”

Hunt drew to attention that the report shown at the senate may not be entirely truthful as it banked on the honesty of the facilities themselves, noting some had refused to answer the question.

Many concerned Australians took to social media to share their disgust with the amount spent on food and many people blaming the privatisation of the sector as the root of the problem.

The names of the 1,500 providers paying shamefully low amounts for food for residents have not been released.

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