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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 262 asked in the Legislative Council on 19 March 2020 by Hon Simon O’Brien

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 19 March 2020

CORONAVIRUS — AGED-CARE FACILITIES

262. Hon SIMON O'BRIEN to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

My question was addressed to the Leader of the House representing the Minister for Seniors and Ageing, but I understand it has been redirected to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health.

I refer to the restrictions that have now been placed on visits to aged-care facilities in Western Australia, as announced by the Minister for Seniors and Ageing this morning.

(1) What is the number of aged-care facility residents in Western Australia?

(2) Is there some discretionary judgement available to facility management, for example, to permit more than one visit in a day to an individual resident?

(3) As distinct from visitors to a facility, what restrictions, if any, apply to the residents of aged-care facilities and, specifically, are residents restricted from going out on visits and then returning either —

(a) absolutely;

(b) subject to restrictions upon return; or

(c) not at all?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) As at 30 June 2019, there were 20 535 permanent residential aged-care residents in WA and 3 470 respite residential aged-care residents in WA.

(2) Following agreement by national cabinet, comprising the Prime Minister and state leaders, restrictions have now been placed on visits to aged-care facilities in Western Australia to enhance protections of our staff and residents in aged-care facilities. Advice for visitors is as follows: limit visits to a short duration; limit visits to a maximum of two immediate social supports—family members, close friends—or professional service or advocacy at one time, per day. Additional visitors may be granted access in exceptional circumstances and visitors who present with fever or flu-like symptoms will not be admitted. Measures such as phone or video calls must be accessible to all residents to enable more regular communication with family members. For the latest advice, visit https://www.health.gov.au.

(3) (a)–(c) There are currently no restrictions on residents going out on visits and then returning.