The new Royal Commission will not be about exceptional cases

In September 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission into the aged care sector. It came on the eve of the ABC’s Four Corners airing a two-part documentary that outlined some distressing cases of abuse or neglect in residential aged care.

Royal Commissions can investigate what has happened in individual cases. In the recent past, there have been detailed examinations in areas as diverse as child sex abuse and banking practices.

As Hamilton Stone directors Ian Holland and Lisa Fenn explain in our article in Australian Ageing Agenda this week, the individual cases will not remain the focus of the Royal Commission. We can expect its attention to move to systemic issues and broad policy questions. Government, the aged care industry and the broader community all need to be ready for the conversation about how we improve care – and how we pay for the improvements.