Four Times As Many Aged Care Nurses Needed By 2050

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1st February 2010, 08:36pm - Views: 876

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The industrial and professional organisation for nurses and midwives in Australia

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media release

Four times as many aged care nurses needed by


1 February 2010

Australia will need a staggering four times as many aged care nurses by 2050 to care for the

nation’s ageing population.

The Australian Nursing Federation’s Federal Secretary Ged Kearney said the government’s

intergenerational report highlighted the importance of investing in the aged care sector.

“Given the government’s projection of 1.8 million people aged over 85 by 2050, the number

of aged care residents in that age group will grow from just over 87,000 today to more than

400,000 by 2050.”

“Unless there is a serious injection of funding into the aged care sector people aged over 45-

years-old right now who are expecting that there will be nurses to look after them when they

are older may instead find themselves uncared for.

“Another major concern is the estimated 1.1 million people who will suffer dementia by


“Without appropriate healthcare professionals in nursing homes, high-need residents will

flood hospital emergency departments and more and more elderly Australians will languish in

acute hospital beds for conditions that could have been managed more efficiently in their

residence and with much less emotional trauma.

“Investing in the future of aged care nursing makes economic sense,” Ms Kearney said.

“The treasurer has outlined the need for smarter more efficient use of the health dollar as a

measure to combat the challenge – a qualified and sufficient aged care workforce is the


“Nurses are leaving the sector because they are being paid on average $300 less a week than

their colleagues in other sectors. They feel that their work is undervalued. This report has

shown that in fact nurses are not only a vital component in assuring Australians get the care

they need, but are also economically prudent.”

“Let’s improve productivity in aged care by ensuring there are enough nurses and personal

carers and they are paid what they are worth.”

Media Contacts 

Eleni Hale, Media and Communications (03) 9602 8522 / 0402337388 

Ged Kearney, ANF Federal Secretary, 0417 053 322 

Lee Thomas, ANF Assistant Federal Secretary, 0419 576 590

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