Aged care providers are begging for more federal government funding to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Nursing home operators have calculated they are receiving just $2 extra per day for every resident, which is not enough to keep them safe.
“The ability of many services to meet the needs of those they care for was already constrained due to major and prolonged financial pressures, long before the pandemic,” peak providers said in a statement on Thursday.
“The rising costs of keeping residents safe from coronavirus is pushing us closer to breaking point.”
The virus has devastated the Newmarch House aged care facility in Sydney, claiming the lives of 12 residents.
Aged care providers want more money to cover masks and protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation products, and technology to maintain family connections.
The funding injection would also cover the wages of casual staff who need to self-isolate and extra staff who backfill their shifts.
Aged care homes have been facing anger from families, with many facilities banning face-to-face visits.
“Our response to the pandemic has been directed by the national cabinet’s guidance on visitor restrictions, with enhanced resident protections put in place by some facilities in response to local risk factors,” providers said.
“These decisions were not taken lightly and have been made with the sole intent to save lives.”
The Morrison government has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the aged care sector during the pandemic.
But providers believe the sector needs an extra $1.1 billion to pull through.