Budget 2019: Aged care regulation focus must be followed by whole of Government action

Release date: 02 Apr 2019

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) says various aged care initiatives in the federal budget, including providing funding certainty for the Commonwealth Home Support Program and $2.6 million to support the implementation of the Aged Care Workforce strategy, are important measures, but need to be followed up with much more coordinated action from the whole of government.

“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,” Patricia Sparrow, CEO of ACSA said.

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

 “The industry has 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.

 “There is an urgent need to respond to the growing waiting list for home care packages that is leaving thousands of older Australians without the care they need and address the sustainability of residential care services, – we are disappointed that more was not done in these areas beyond the recent welcome announcements ,” Ms Sparrow said.

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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