“The spanking new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has been shown up for what it is: an already tired re-iteration of its predecessor the Aged Care Quality Accreditation Agency and a watchdog lacking teeth and growl”, said Paul Versteege, Policy Manager for the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA).
“The ACCC is taking BUPA Australia Pty Ltd to court about alleged breaches of consumer law by 21 BUPA nursing homes. The ACCC is going after the corporate entity.
“28 BUPA Australia nursing homes face, or have recently faced, compliance action, but the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission does not have the power to go after BUPA corporate. Instead, it must launch action against each individual nursing home. According to the Aged Care Act, BUPA Australia as an entity has no responsibility for aged care quality at their nursing homes.
“Unlike the ACCC, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission does not have the basic power to go after BUPA as a nationwide business. Underlying this inadequate approach is the idea that each BUPA nursing home is run independently and any breaches of aged care standards have nothing to do with BUPA HQ.
“This is a hang-over from the days that nursing homes were, in fact, independent and stand-alone. These days the trend is towards consolidation. Nationwide nursing home chains have emerged and are only getting bigger.
“The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which is not yet four months old, is already shown to be a relic from the past rather than a watchdog ready to do what is required of it.
“CPSA calls for an overhaul of the Aged Care Act to drag aged care regulation into the 21st century.”