Kate Hagen from The Age writes: About 1000 aged-care beds in Melbourne are about be sold off by the Victorian government, prompting concerns patient care will be compromised.
Budget documents show the government expects to save $25million in 2014-15 and $50million in 2015-16 as a result of the change, which would see private or not-for-profit providers take over management of the state’s aged-care beds in Melbourne.
The savings would be achieved because the state government would no longer have to pay increased wage costs that apply in Victorian-run facilities, where there are mandated nurse/patient ratios.
Non-government providers in Victoria are subject to federal wage agreements, which do not set minimum staffing levels and provide lower rates of pay for nurses.
The government runs about 25 residential aged-care facilities throughout the city, with a mixture of high-care and low-care beds. They are run by local hospital networks and include facilities in Caulfield, Heidelberg, Burwood, Brunswick, Flemington, St Albans and Bundoora.
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