Put aged care blame where it belongs
KEITH Whiteside (Letters, Aug 3) points the finger at a state government being responsible for the problems we are all having regarding the unfortunate situation happening in aged-care facilities around the country.
This, however, is not a new problem. Nor is it the responsibility of state governments. This is a federal issue and has been ignored by both sides of politics for years.
I appeared before the Productivity Commission more than 10 years ago, together with other registered nurses from all over the country.
At that time the private sector was beginning to cut staff in aged-care facilities and the writing was on the wall that the calibre of care would deteriorate should this be allowed to continue.
Nothing changed. In fact it has got worse and will continue to do so until the federal government treats both residents and staff employed in these facilities with the respect they deserve.
Aged care is not seen as being a choice for young registered nurses mainly because of the lower rates of pay than their state colleagues receive.
Management of these facilities show their disrespect for their residents by allowing them to be cared for by carers who are often poorly educated rather than employ registered nurses.
When I worked in this area as a registered nurse I found the responsibility of caring for people and their families for the rest of the resident's life the most satisfying area of nursing I had ever worked in.
Until the federal government acknowledges that there needs to be put in place all the things staff, doctors, patients and their relatives have been asking for things will only get worse.
Jeanette Wiley, Graceville
KEITH Whiteside is dead right, and as Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews asserted he would not place his own mother in some of these money-raking end-of-life aged-care institutions.
What Whiteside fails to comprehend is that these end-of-life places are suffering derelict neglect by our capitalist society which prioritises the profits of commerce above the needs of the Welfare State, also called by some the "Nanny State".
To address fundamental human needs in our society we need a social system that is more adequate and generous for all.
Michael Henderson, Maroochydore
MELBOURNE has now been declared as being in a state of disaster, including a curfew from 8pm to 5am (C-M, Aug 3), to prevent an ignorant, selfish, and thoughtless minority from spreading the virus.
Fines of up to $10,000 are being mooted for anyone who has tested positive but ignores quarantine orders, continuing to go about their daily business as though COVID-19 does not exist.
However, will a fine, no matter how large, change the behaviour of this minority who we know exists in all our capitals, not just Melbourne?
The larger the fine, the more unlikely that it will be paid, given that most of these offenders are on casual, low wages, if they are working at all.
A pandemic wage may mitigate this behaviour to some extent, but what happens if the rules are deliberately broken even in that situation?
The bottom line, surely, is that knowingly spreading the virus is akin to manslaughter, and maybe it is time the politicians in charge of this health disaster stopped pussyfooting around and called it what it is. It's not just irresponsible, it is criminal.
Many vulnerable older people have already paid with their lives for it, and sooner rather than later the law needs to be changed so that jail sentences can be handed out to the worst offenders.
Les de Kretser, Indooroopilly
OUR HEALTH MUST COME BEFORE FOOTY
THE decision by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to close the border to certain parts of the country, while allowing into the state more than 1500 AFL players, administrators, staff and their families, as well as an unknown number in the entourages of six interstate Super Netball squads, sends mixed messages to the public in this state.
It is not helped by reports that the Premier has given assurances to the NRL that its teams will be exempt from border restrictions.
Already there have been reported breaches of quarantine requirements by families of footballers in southeast Queensland. Who could have seen that coming?
One could be forgiven for thinking that, with an election looming in three months and Labor languishing in the polls, the Premier is looking to make Queensland a sports hub in an effort to assist her polling chances.
Unfortunately, Queenslanders are the pawns in this risky gamble with public health, particularly given that quarantine compliance is largely based on trust.
It is not possible to effectively monitor 1500 people.
I would rather remain safe than watch the footy.
John McLeod, Maroochydore
TEACHINGS ARE CLEAR
IT WAS unfortunate that the article about a sex education text at Moreton Bay Boys' College had the inflammatory headline "Sex-ed text teaches hate" (C-M, Aug 1), which related to a statement "God hates homosexuals", "cherry-picked" from a number of statements related to sexual behaviour.
As the head of college explained, it was one of a number of "thought-provoking statements
used as a springboard for discussion", not a statement of truth.
In fact, the Bible is clear that the opposite is true. God's love is unconditional for all, but his forgiveness is conditional on our repentance.
Columnist Kylie Lang seems to be perplexed that a Christian school should actually be teaching morality based on what the Bible says, which would be one reason why many parents send their children to Christian schools.
John Yared, Wynnum
KYLIE Lang assumes that she is the holder of absolute truth with regard to sexual education. Her column is written under the guise of tolerance for a range of opinions. It seems that any opinion, bar a conservative Judeo-Christian one, is suitable for promotion.
This seems ironic given the context for the article is the educational practices of a Uniting Church-affiliated school.
Head of College at Moreton Bay Boys' College, Andrew Holmes, sums up the situation well, "... boys are encouraged to question the views in the handbook".
Surely good education contains robust discussions across a range of ideas, forcing students and teachers to justify positions and ideals, with evidence.
Then students can make up their own minds, armed with the full range of options.
If the contents of the material in question are so abhorrent, they will show themselves to be so by default.
Just because some ideas are old, it does not necessarily make them wrong.
Peter Smith, Cedar Creek
AS A practising Christian of almost 60 years, I was concerned by the content of the religious education curriculum at Moreton Bay Boys' College.
Those concerns were more than adequately addressed by your readers (Letters, Aug 3). However, there were three other points raised in the article that were just as disconcerting.
Kylie Lang stated the booklet wasn't used in the MBBC sister school, Moreton Bay Girls' College.
Surely if this school believes in what it teaches, one would expect that a school supposedly with the same "ethos" would be teaching the same thing.
Next year the curriculum is to change to remove this content. If it is relevant in 2020 what will change in the next five months to make it irrelevant?
Finally and perhaps most importantly, Dr Patricia Weerakoon was approached for comment and declined. Surely a person who is strong in their beliefs, no matter how unpopular, has the courage and conviction to defend them.
Frank Edwards, Sandgate
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
I HAVE a niece named Karen so it was great to read the article (C-M, Aug 3) that the name "Karen" is actually OK.
The "Karen" who refused to wear a mask at Bunnings and then ranted and threatened to sue should now apologise to everyone named "Sue" as she has put them under unnecessary pressure.
Lesley Brandis, Camp Hill
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Originally published as Put aged care blame where it belongs