Research important but silence on election priorities has gone unnoticed

Release date: 03 May 2019

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) has welcomed the federal government’s announcement of $34 million to establish a new Aged Care Workforce Research Centre as important but says political parties are avoiding things that can make a difference right now.

Patricia Sparrow, CEO of ACSA said: “Research in aged care is very important but the political parties are avoiding the kind of actions that will make a difference to older Australians and our loved ones right now.

“The research centre proposal demonstrates that the Coalition recognises that aged care is a growing area and will need significant resources invested into future jobs growth.

“We are still concerned however, that the Coalition and ALP have not yet addressed areas including five urgent priorities outlined in ACSA’s Election Statement 2019.

“So far we’ve only seen gestures to the kind of urgent action required prior to the final report of the Royal Commission.”

ACSA is still waiting on a response from the political parties that they will commit to the following:

  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.

 “Parties that commit to these urgent priorities will send a clear message that they recognise and care about our ageing population and those who care for our elderly.

“Our leaders can’t use the Royal Commission as an excuse to delay urgent reforms that will improve aged care right now.
 
“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,” Ms Sparrow said.

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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