Aged care investment welcome but older Australians need more than Morrison has delivered to date

Release date: 25 Nov 2019

The peak body Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) welcomes Federal Government’s announcements in response to the three priority areas outlined by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Interim Report, however is appealing to the Government to do more, and quickly.

 

“Aged care providers have been urgently calling for more packages, so we welcome the 10,000 new Home Care Packages announced today,” said ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow.

“Older Australians deserve to get the care they need, when they need it. The Royal Commission Interim Report highlighted the size of the home care access issue. This new funding will provide some relief, however with approximately 120,000 people waiting for a package, this will not even touch the sides of demand from older Australians.

“ACSA supports the long-term home care reform signalled today, to create a unified home care program including a single assessment workforce. This has been recommended for some time to better support people at home, so it is pleasing to see a commitment to action,” she said.

The Government’s other announcements to address the Interim Report priority areas - improved medication management to minimise prescribing and use of chemical restraints, training on dementia for the aged care workforce, and moving people with a disability under 45 years of age out of aged care – are all supported by ACSA.

While the announcement is a positive, and Government today indicated its intent to do more, ACSA has been highlighting for some time the things that could be done immediately to address real issues being experienced in aged care now:

  • An extension of 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 considered at the end of next year;

  • To enable rural and regional Australians to remain in their communities by increasing the rural and remote supplement by $10 per day, with 75% of providers in regional, rural and remote areas are operating at a loss; and

  • To Increase the homeless supplement by $10 per day.

“The Royal Commission is an opportunity for long-term structural and financing reform that will deliver certainty for individuals and their families, and sustainability to the sector. However, there are practical solutions that we can act on now to give older Australians better support and address sustainability issues confronting providers in delivering care.

“We look forward to Government taking urgent action ahead of the Royal Commission’s Final Report through the upcoming Budget period (Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook),” said Ms Sparrow.

~ENDS~


Media contacts:  Annette Glenister, 0400772722

 

Read Goverment media release here

 

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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