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section Objection to approved
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I lodged an objection to the granting of approved provider status for Home Instead Senior Care on the basis that the introduction of a large market focused, franchising US multinational into this vulnerable sector was undesirable
Home Instead Senior Care
LINKS CORPORATE MEDICINE WEB SITE
Path to this
Objection to approved
31 May 2006
APPROVED PROVIDER STATUS APPLICATION
ASSISTANT STATE MANAGER
AGEING AND AGED CARE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING
GPO Box 9848
The prospect of a giant corporation from the severely dysfunctional and fraud prone US health and aged care marketplace providing commercial services to frail and elderly Australians in a situation which cannot be monitored is terrifying. Many of those to be cared for are trusting and gullible widows in their eighties and nineties who are not part of the "buyer beware" generation. Vulnerable and trusting people are the ones (aged care, psychiatry, children, uninsured etc) who have been most extensively misused and exploited for profit by the largest and outwardly credible companies in sections of the health and aged care marketplace in the USA. The most successful have been the ones involved in fraud. I have spent many years studying this marketplace.
We already have in Australia a situation in nursing homes where accreditation and government complaint mechanisms have failed abysmally. Home care is infinitely more difficult.
As in nursing homes commercial economic pressures will push salaries down in order to push profits up. This will very probably bring the dregs of society and those who are misfits, potentially violent, sexually unrestrained or simply disinterested into the caring work force. Monitoring and criminal checks have very limited utility as too many slip through. This also changes the ambience and drives away those with real community motivation. Few genuine carers will tolerate poor under-funded care conditions when those in authority are reaping sometimes huge profits. Almost all have families to support and in a climate which crucifies whistle blowers and gives no protection they find better paying work elsewhere.
In contrast community services not yet adulterated by marketplace thinking draw more carers from those with a sense of community care. They more readily resist financial pressure to dysfunction and when there are financial constraints continue to do their best.
We are creating a situation which fosters misuse of the vulnerable and elder abuse in their homes. This is well illustrated by developments first in the US and then in the Australian nursing home sectors where even the incidence if elder rape is following the US trend.
Press reports indicate that the companys founders have been meeting with the Prime Minister and the department of health and aging. This certainly suggests that the government plans to outsource these services for pensioners and that the company is seeking such contracts.
I ask you to consider very carefully the consequences of granting a company from this sector approval. The government has blundered in this way on multiple previous occasions but is so blinded by its economic agenda that it has not learned.
I have written to The Foreign Investment and Review Board (FIRB) setting out the objections to this development and asking them to refuse the company admission to Australia. I have pointed out to them the difficulty which state bodies, ill equipped to deal with powerful multinationals, have had in dealing with FIRBs failures.
Note that I am not disputing the need for such services, although there are some concerns. I am disputing the provision of these services through a mechanism which will very probably cause many more problems than it solves.
I attach a copy of the letter which I sent to FIRB. It sets out the issues not addressed here.
Please consider this letter and that to FIRB as an objection to making this corporation an approved provider of aged care.
Please be kind enough to acknowledge this letter and inform me whether Home Instead Seniors Care and the government are engaged in outsourcing negotiations or other arrangements, and whether this company has applied to be an approved provider of aged care services.
J Michael Wynne
Corporate Medicine Web site
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This page created Sept 2006 by Michael Wynne