Approved provider status revoked
An Adelaide company owned by a husband and wife doctor team has been prevented from running Commonwealth-funded nursing homes.
Bresant Pty Ltd – owned and directed by Dr Jagdish Saraf and Dr Madhu Saraf – operated the Brighton Aged Care until March this year when the Department of Health and Ageing revoked its approved provider status.
The company applied for a review of this decision but the original ruling was upheld this week.
It is the first revocation of approved provider status under the Rudd Government. The last time a provider lost approval was in August last year.
According to a statement from the Minister for Ageing’s office, the decision to revoke Bresant’s status was based on: “…a history of significant and repeated non-compliance with its obligations under the [Aged Care] Act, resulting in serious risk to the health, safety or well-being of residents.”
In September last year, another Adelaide facility run by Bresant was forced to close after staff rolled a resident in tomato sauce as part of a ‘practical joke’.
The department also expressed concerns about the provider’s failure to report the death of a 71-year old resident to the coroner in July last year.
In February, the South Australian Coroner found that the Sarafs acted “improperly” when they signed the death and cremation certificates for the resident without performing an autopsy.
The Sarafs appealed the coroner’s decision, arguing that the death was not ‘unusual’.
But the South Australian Supreme Court recently ruled that the death was still reportable because the resident had died of “an undetermined cause”.
“This has been a very sad episode and once again, I extend my condolences and sympathies to the family,” said Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot.
“The thousands of hard working and dedicated staff in aged care will welcome the decision by the Department of Health and Ageing to revoke Bresant’s approved provider status.”
“In fact, it was a staff member who brought the matter to the attention of the South Australian police.”
The Rudd Government has again expressed concerns that doctors who own and operate aged care facilities can sign the death and cremation certificates of residents.
It has written to State and Territory attorneys-general seeking their cooperation to close the ‘legal loopholes’ that allow this to occur.
[Fri 18/07/2008 10:21:54]- Australian Ageing Agenda