Government Run vs Private Sector, A Grim Study Result

Group of pensioners eating lunch together at the rest home

Aged care residents in Australia are, according to a study released this week by the Royal Commission investigating the sector, are up to twice as likely to suffer from severe injuries in a for-profit home as in a government-run one.

The study is the most comprehensive ever undertaken and paints a grim picture of the state of private-sector aged care.

It found that government-run homes dramatically outperform those run by both for-profit operators and not-for-profit groups. The one year period covered in the study revealed that one in 15 residents in government-run aged care were sent to hospital compared with one in 8.2 - 8.6 in the private sector.

One in every 61.7 residents of a government-run home suffered from pressure injuries, bad enough to require a hospital visit, against one in 33.1 in the not-for-profit sector and one in 27.2 in the for-profit sector.

Half the government-run homes had no hospitalisations for bedsores, compared with just 19 percent of not-for-profits and 13 percent of for-profits.

The study concluded that in addition to being at less risk of physical injury, residents of government-run homes were also far better off when it came to mental health.

Almost 700 residents of aged care homes contracted Coronavirus and died. The Royal Commission has found that the sector was not sufficiently prepared for the pandemic by the federal government responsible for regulating the industry.