Pressure is mounting on the aged care sector and federal government to reveal how some $13bn in taxpayer funding, along with millions in new funding for Covid-19, is being spent to benefit residents, The Guardian reports.
Guardian Australia analysis of the 10 aged care homes worst affected by coronavirus in Victoria shows that three are controlled by two large companies, which between them received more than $1.45bn in government funding over the past two years and paid out dividends to their shareholders totalling $77m.
But while some in the industry have been reaping big profits, aged care homes are not required to tell residents and their families how many staff they employ and the skill-sets of those staff, including whether they are registered nurses. Nor are they required to disclose how much of the subsidy provided for each resident by the government is spent on care, food, and other services, or how much taxpayer money goes unspent or used on non-care related activities such as investments.
Aged care deaths linked to Covid-19 in Australia have reached 460, with the federal government so far refusing to disclose which homes are responsible for the most deaths, or to detail how hundreds of millions of dollars given to aged care homes to retain and up-skill staff have been used by the sector.
Guardian Australia analysis shows that there have been at least 118 deaths among the 10 worst-hit homes in Victoria, where a total of more than 1,450 cases have been recorded.
Every one of the top 10 is in the private sector, run by either a for-profit company or a charity.
In Victoria, state-run homes make up 22% of aged care facilities and look after about 10% of senior citizens in the system, a government spokeswoman said. Yet, of the 1,121 active cases of coronavirus linked to aged care as of Friday, just four were in the public system.