The federal minister for aged care says stories and events to be recounted at the royal commission into aged care will not be easy to hear.
As witness hearings opened in Adelaide on Monday, Ken Wyatt said the inquiry came amid a 177 per cent increase in findings of serious risk against service providers in the past year.
“Over the coming days and weeks the stories and events told before the commission will not be easy to hear, but they are necessary,” Mr Wyatt said. “Our senior Australians are among our greatest treasures. They deserve the highest quality aged care possible.”
Mr Wyatt said the federal government remained committed to providing senior Australians with access to care which supported their dignity.
Whistleblowers from Adelaide’s notorious Oakden nursing home will be the first to give evidence.
Senior Counsel Assisting Peter Gray has told the inquiry, the standard of care offered to older Australians must be improved.
“Many people who have received care, family members, and workers in aged care have approached the royal commission to tell their stories. Some have had harrowing experiences,” he said. “We are grateful to them for their courage and being willing to bear witness to the effects that the aged care system has had on them and we thank them.”