Bupa welcomes vaccination push for aged care workers

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Bupa says it welcomes last week's announcement following a meeting of the national cabinet that COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for residential aged care workers.

The meeting endorsed advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to make vaccination mandatory for all residential aged care workers by mid-September 2021. They will be required to have at least the first dose.

Health minister Greg Hunt also announced the creation of the Residential Aged Care COVID-19 Employee Vaccination Support Grant that is designed to allow casual residential aged care workers to be paid under two categories. They can receive $80, per dose, for going off-site for vaccination and paid sick leave if unwell after vaccination and the staff member has no other leave entitlements – a day’s paid leave at a rate of $185.

Suzanne Dvorak, the managing director of Bupa Villages and Aged Care, said access for the aged care workforce should be prioritised to meet the mid-September target.

“We welcome and fully support the decision to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for aged care workers to better protect residents,” she said.

“It is vital that access to the vaccine is fast-tracked, for not only our team members, but for all health professionals and anyone, including family members, who come into regular contact with the elderly, vulnerable and sick.

“As community transmission and outbreaks continue, we all must act quickly to protect our older Australians in aged care, including facilitating on-site vaccinations via the Government tender process which is currently underway."