United Kingdom

Scott Morrison gives an emotional apology over aged care crisis

Scott Morrison has apologised to families who have lost loved ones in aged care during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press conference today, the Prime Minster admitted that the federal government response has 'fallen short' at times.

He said: 'On the days that the system falls short, on the days that expectations are not met, I'm deeply sorry about that, of course I am.

'And I know that everyone who is involved in the process who is trying to meet those expectations is equally sorry.'

Australia has suffered 375 deaths during the pandemic, many of which are related to aged care. 

Last month Melbourne's Epping Gardens care home was left with almost no staff at 11pm one night because they were forced into isolation.

The PM had to scramble to draft in Army troops so that residents continued to receive care.  

'On days where workforces are completely stripped from facilities and there is nobody there and you scramble for a workforce to try to put them in place and you have ADF officers who go there at 11pm at night to try to clean up the mess, that's not good enough,' the Prime Minister said.

Medical workers evacuate a resident from the Epping Gardens aged care facility in the Melbourne suburb of Epping on July 30

'But they are the actions we had to take to stabilise those facilities in those situations. 

'So, each and every day there are going to be challenges, and on many days, the success in how they are able to deal with these challenges has been significant.' 

A Royal Commission into Age Care has heard that the government had 'no plan' for for the sector to deal with the pandemic.

Mr Morrison said that was not true. 

'There has been a plan and it has been updated and so we completely reject the assertion that there was not a plan because there was a plan,' he said.

'Every day every effort is being made and on those days that we fall short, we're sorry, and the next day we get up and we seek to make it right the next day.' 

A healthcare worker outside of the Glenlyn Aged Care Facility in Melbourne on August 13

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