Labor MP for Fraser, Daniel Mulino has asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison why a 95-year-old woman had ants crawling from her open wounds while in an aged care facility in Victoria.
In Parliament question time today, Mr Mulino outlined the shocking case, saying staff shortages during a COVID-19 outbreak at the Kalyna Care facility meant the woman failed to receive appropriate care. The woman, identified only as Milka, later died.
Horrifying footage of the woman’s condition went public on 6 August, two weeks after the virus had first been identified in a staff member at the facility.
Mr Morrison said the incident was “simply not acceptable”.
“The events that the member refers to are shocking. They are disturbing. They are upsetting,” said Mr Morrison
“They are four centres out of over 2,700 aged care centres in Australia and four of those have had these absolutely outrageous and unacceptable outcomes, and I have offered my apologies on those already.
“But I would simply note this: that whether in that facility or the other three where there have been the most significant of these outcome, in 97% of the cases, in all other aged care facilities in Australia, we have seen no COVID in any of those centres.”
He went on to defend Australia’s aged care COVID-19 record, saying just 8% of Australian facilities have had COVID infections involving both residents and staff.
He said that in the United Kingdom, that figure was 56% – or seven times worse.
“Now, what has happened at Colinia and St Basil’s and Epping Gardens, and others, is totally unacceptable,” he continued.
“But in a global pandemic and where community transmission reached what it did in Victoria, the fact that in Australia it has been contained, despite these terrible tragedies, and that it has occurred in other countries, countries like Australia, in the United Kingdom at seven times the level that we have seen here in Australia, that demonstrates that the plan that we put many place has had an impact and it has had a positive impact.”
“They were too many at the time when it was relayed to me and, as we were working night and day at that time to restore stability into that facility and the three others that were most critically affected.
“But in so many other cases, what I am pleased at least to say is those four cases did not become 100.”
The Prime Minister said the government would continue to implements its COVID-19 response plan for aged care.
“And while there can never be any absolute guarantees, particularly in a one-in-100-year pandemic, we will do everything that we can to ensure that what occurred at Kalyna doesn’t happen in any other facilities,” said Mr Morrison.