In early August 2020, Victoria had Covid-19 outbreaks raging in over 100 private aged care homes, yet the government refused to tell us which ones.
At a Senate inquiry hearing on August 4, 2020, Dr Brendan Murphy, secretary of the Department of Health, and Senator Richard Colbeck, the Minister for Aged Care, refused to name the aged care homes. They explained that providers didn’t want to be publicly named because they were worried about “reputational damage”.
It is not the role of the Department of Health or the government to protect aged care homes from reputational damage. Imagine the government refusing to tell the public which schools, workplaces, restaurants or child-care centres had Covid outbreaks because of concerns about “reputational damage”.
In my view, it was unconscionable for important information about aged care homes to be kept top secret. I shared this list in the interests of transparency. It had nothing to do with “naming, shaming or blaming”.