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12 Feb 2018

Transcript:   AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, Channel Nine, Today Show with Louise Momber, Monday 12 February 2018

Subject:  Nutrition in aged care facilities.

LOUISE MOMBER:  A new report has revealed our nation's prisoners are better fed than our elderly, with some nursing homes spending just $6 a day on meals.

For more, I'm joined by the national President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Michael Gannon. Good morning, Doctor.

MICHAEL GANNON:   Good morning, Louise.

LOUISE MOMBER:   Tell me, what is your reaction to this, this morning?

MICHAEL GANNON:   Well, my reaction was one of shock initially. And yet, sadly it fits in with a picture of not paying enough attention to the care of our elderly. Aged care facilities are a problem; the accreditation systems are not protecting all of the residents.

LOUISE MOMBER:   It's hard to know what sort of nutritional value you can get from a $2 meal as well, isn't it?

MICHAEL GANNON:   Well, they must be falling short somewhere in terms of appropriate ingredients or fresh ingredients. So, it's entirely appropriate that people in residential aged care facilities get healthy and nourishing meals. So many of them have so much to contribute, it's the least we owe people in their autumn years.

LOUISE MOMBER:   Absolutely. And they say, this study, that they looked at 800 aged care providers - which is a lot - but should families be worried about the level of the care that their loved ones are getting, despite the fact that they're been reassured everything's fine?

MICHAEL GANNON:   Well, I think there's a responsibility to beef up the accreditation of these facilities. I know from personally speaking to the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, he found the Oakden report in Adelaide very distressing. We've got a long way to go before we can say that we as a society do the right thing in looking after our aged.

LOUISE MOMBER:   Where do you start with something like this to make sure there are safeguards?

MICHAEL GANNON:   Well, there are rules in terms of minimum standards of accommodation, minimum standards of access to health care. We need to look at the minimum standards of nutrition. I suspect that what we'll see in coming years is the bar lifted higher in terms of nurse-resident ratios et cetera. I think that's a good thing.

LOUISE MOMBER:   Yeah, absolutely agree. Dr Gannon, thank you so much for your time this morning.

MICHAEL GANNON:   Okay. Pleasure, Louise.


12 February 2018


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Published: 12 Feb 2018