In complying with the new laws effective as of mid-2023, all aged care facilities will be required to have a registered nurse on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Chief executive of Dunmunkle Lodge hostel Peter Ballagh says the new legislation is proving difficult for small providers such as his.
“We’ve been advertising for registered nurses (RNs) for the past 18 months knowing that this was coming through,” says Peter.
“We have five, so that’s a clear indication of how difficult it’s going to be to not only recruit RNs but also keep them in the area.”
According to Peter, the Lodge will need at least 12 RNs to keep up with the demands of the new legislations.
The housing shortage has also provided struggles in finding nurses within the Lodge’s area.
According to ABC Wimmera, Peter’s comments come one month after the Allambi Elderly Person’s Residential Aged Care Facility in Dimboola — also independently operated — announced it will fold next February.
Board chair Ann Falkingham said in a statement the decision was “heart-breaking for everyone concerned”.
The future for facilities such as Mr Ballagh’s is all but certain, and is a stark reminder that the new legislation set by the government is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.