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Aged care leaders call for extended ADF assistance as sector braces for winter Omicron wave

Workforce shortages being filled with health department staff but pay rise key to attracting more workers, aged care minister says

The aged care sector has warned of a “perfect storm” of Covid outbreaks and more staff shortages as Australia braces for another Omicron wave to peak, with calls for expanded federal surge workforce programs and new Australian Defence Force assistance to bolster support for residents.

The health minister, Mark Butler, said on Tuesday his department was working to boost the aged care workforce and discussing the role of the ADF through the winter, but leading voices in the sector are concerned that many care shifts are already going unfilled.

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