'Unbelievable!': Karl fires up at minister

Karl Stefanovic has fired up at Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck in a grilling over Victoria's crisis this morning.

The Today host said he felt "felt sick and angry for our most vulnerable".

"We've lost 100 people in 10 days. How did you get it so wrong?" he asked Mr Colbeck.

The minister said the government had a plan in place since January and it has "evolved" ever since.

"The plan wasn't good enough," Mr Stefanovic said bluntly before there was an awkward pause.

"Well, Karl, as we've learnt about the virus, we've continued to evolve the plan," Mr Colbeck responded. "We've implemented things that we've learnt from other places, including Dorothy Henderson Lodge and Newmarch.

"I've seen that happen every day in Victoria as we've been battling through, you unfortunately, we're in a very difficult situation in Victoria at the moment.

"We have a huge work force shortage, not only just in the healthcare sector but also - in the aged-care sector but also - in the aged-care sector but also in health care. This virus has found its way into every corner of the community."

Mr Stefanovic then asked why the aged care watchdog took four days to inform the Health Department about an outbreak at St Basil's.

Mr Colbeck said there were "gaps in the systems" and he only found out about the communication breakdown on Friday.

"How did you find out on Friday?" asked Mr Stefanovic. "I mean, that's unbelievable!"

"Well, the Commissioner advised me on Friday morning. I met with the Commissioner and the department early that morning," Mr Colbeck responded.

"I had a full brief by Friday afternoon and I advised the Senate committee where we'd give evidence the previous Tuesday, on Friday night.

"And that gap has been fixed but might I point out, Karl, that was exposed by the fact that neither DHHS nor the provider had actually advised the Federal Government of the outbreak at the facility, which is part of the first 24 hour plan that the Commissioner had asked the provider to back, and we should've known the day before."


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