A confidential internal inquiry into the office of the Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt was leaked to the media during the recent election campaign. The journalist described the leaker as a “whistle blower.”
Whistle blowers are honourable people who are motivated by altruistic intentions. Anonymous disgruntled staff members who are dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal grievance process are not whistle blowers.
I have never worked in Minister Wyatt’s office so I do not have inside knowledge. However, this leak had all the markings of a political attack.
Legislation mandates open disclosure in all public health services in Australia. However, there is no legislative requirement for open disclosure in an aged care home.
Letter, The Age
It is tragic that older people commit suicide (The Age, 17/1). The National Coronial Inquiry Service estimates that two people over the age of 80 are taking their lives every week. The most common method is hanging.
Ian Hickie suggests older people commit suicide because of myths and negative stereotypes about ageing, pain relief, hospitals and how the health system treats elderly people. Are these myths?
Recently, an elderly woman living in an aged care home died in excruciating pain because no one was suitably qualified on the night shift to administer the prescribed morphine. The woman’s daughter was so traumatised she could not remain at her mother’s bedside to hold her hand.
We do not need motherhood statements about healthy ageing. We need political action to ensure older Australians are valued and receive the quality of health care that they deserve.
Sarah Russell, Northcote