‘Maggots crawling out his ears’: Family slams aged care
Taxpayers forked out $457 million for disgraced Bupa nursing homes to care for 7400 elderly residents across the country last year, but it can be revealed one of them was found with maggots in his ear.
Bupa received the amount in government subsidies to run its 78 Australian aged care facilities, according to financial documents.
And despite increasing their number of beds by 22 to 7339, Australia's largest for-profit healthcare provider cut spending on suppliers and employees by $24 million to $560 million over the last year.
Over the same period the UK-based health care provider generated $81.9 million in net cash flow from its aged care facilities alone, compared with $74.4 million in 2017.
Yesterday The Daily Telegraph revealed the global aged care giant had failed in 15 of its 30 NSW nursing homes for breaching basic care benchmarks over the last four years.
They include breaches for pain management, nutrition, cleanliness, infection control and resident dignity.
It comes as the family of cancer sufferer John Callaghan say they found him with maggots crawling in his ear at Bupa Tugun, on the Gold Coast.
The retired entrepreneur begged his family to take him home after two weeks at the home, complaining of inexperienced staff. He died ten days later at the nearby Hopewell Hospice.
"He wasn't an easy man to look after, he was in great pain and was battling cancer in his ear, but when I came to visit him maggots were crawling out of his ears," his widow Fay Callaghan, 83, said.
He wasn't that aware of what was going on in the end but even he said 'this is a terrible place it's dreadful, they don't look after you please get me out'."
A Bupa spokesman said officials were investigating the maggot claims and "understand the stress such an incident would cause".
Tax Justice Network spokesman Jason Ward said Bupa's cuts on spending, employees and suppliers was to blame for homes not meeting basic government standards.
"The government must hold Bupa and other aged care businesses accountable to provide quality care and treat elderly Australians with the respect they deserve," he said,
National Seniors Australia CEO John McCallum said it was a "cottage industry with big players".
"In the case of nursing homes, where there are vulnerable clients, the management should be held accountable and, in the worst case, management should face jail if serious accidents happen on site," he said.