Aged care action is possible before Royal Commission

Release date: 29 Apr 2019

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) has asked political parties to respond to five urgent priorities for aged care that it says can be resolved before the Royal Commission delivers its recommendations.

 

The ACSA ‘Election Statement 2019’ asks for a commitment to:
 

  1. Extend the short-term 9.5% funding injection into residential care, tied to investing in staffing, training and other workforce matters based on local and organisational needs, until the Royal Commission’s broader recommendations can be implemented.

  2. Urgent boost of 40,000 level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages (in 2019-20) that is the main cause of the backlog in waiting lists and is forcing people into hospital or residential care prematurely.

  3. Keep rural and regional Australians in their communities by increasing the rural and remote supplement by $10 per day.

  4. Address the oral health crisis in aged care with MBS provider numbers for dental hygienists or oral health therapists to prevent dental issues progressing into more serious medical issues.

  5. Bring forward the 30% increase to the homeless supplement so that it is fully realised in the 2019/2020 year.


Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) says that while there are indeed complex challenges and opportunities that need proper investigation and consideration from the Royal Commission, there are also some urgent and practical solutions that can be acted on now.

“We can’t use the Royal Commission as an excuse to delay urgent reforms that will improve aged care right now,” Patricia Sparrow, CEO of ACSA said.
 
“The Commission has kicked started the kind of big community discussion we need in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities being presented by our ageing nation, but these are some practical ideas that can be put into action now. There’s no excuse to delay.

“We are seeking a response from all political parties as to what they will do about these priorities before the Royal Commission delivers its recommendations.

“The government has responded to increased scrutiny of aged care with a number of compliance and regulatory initiatives , but the hard reality is that so far we’ve really only seen stop gaps.

 “Within the next decade we are going to need big reforms in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by our ageing nation.

 “We have welcomed the scrutiny of the Royal Commission partly because it has helped bring the debate forward 10 years to where it needs to be. We need the entire community engaged in a discussion about what kind of care we want to provide and how to fund it sustainably. 

“There is currently a mismatch between the needs and expectations of Australians and what aged care providers are funded to deliver. The longer-term issues and challenges are the responsibly of everyone: providers, families and government.

“We are feeling very positive about the what the additional scrutiny of the Royal Commission is going to mean in terms of outcomes for older Australians and the aged care industry. But this doesn’t change the fact there is an urgent need to respond to these areas right now,” Ms Sparrow.

 

Click here to access the 2019 ACSA Election Campaign Statement

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0408 584 439

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia

 

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