Australian research institute signals doubling of labor shortage in elderly care

SYDNEY, June 28 (Xinhua) — A new report from an Australian research institute, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), has found that staff shortages continue to escalate the country’s aged care crisis.

The report, released Tuesday, calculated that there would be a shortage of 30,000 to 35,000 direct health care providers each year, double what was predicted a year earlier.

CEDA Senior Economist Cassandra Winzar said the collapse of Australia’s aged care system was caused by both circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and insufficient government action.

“The minuscule levels of migration and increased turnover in the sector, estimated to be about 65,000 workers per year, have exacerbated existing shortages,” Winzar said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, retirement homes became the frontline of the pandemic, leading to burnout among workers in the sector, and masses of workers have since switched to other industries.

Winzar and her team called on the new government to deliver on promises to improve the quality and accessibility of aged care, including a pledge to have a nurse in every retirement home 24 hours a day.

“Filling this gap will not be achieved without determined and consistent effort that must begin now,” she said.

The report called for raising wages for aged care workers, adding personal care workers to Australia’s skilled migrant categories and offering industry and government low-cost options to retrain workers and workers. support in elderly care.

“Using all the levers available will help us make progress in building the healthcare workforce that Australia needs to provide the high level of care we all expect for ourselves and our families,” the report authors said.

Australia’s aging population poses a major policy challenge to the nation. In 2022 there were an estimated 1.3 million Australians receiving some form of care and an estimated 360,000 people were employed in the sector.

According to a 2021 article from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), 9.3 percent of all Australians would need aged care by 2060, up from 5 percent by 2020.