Australia falls further behind on aged care funding

Release date: 24 Jan 2020

The peak body for non-profit aged care providers Aged and Community Services (ACSA) says new research reportedly delivered to the Aged Care Royal Commission by Flinders University is an embarrassing wake up call for Australia on funding and support.

“Australia is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to GDP spending on aged care. That’s not just embarrassing, it should also be an urgent wake up call for the economy and for people entering retirement who may need aged care within the next twenty years,” ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow said.

“It’s actually incredible the amazing work that goes on in our aged care sector when it is so desperately in need of greater investment – both from government and the community.

“The harsh reality is that despite Australia being a prosperous nation, we are falling behind because we don't value older people enough.

“Not only is the aged care sector underfunded compared to other countries, but Australians who make huge sacrifices to care for elderly relatives don't get the same level of benefits either.

“There is a fundamental mismatch here, that at its core is an undervaluing of the contribution older people deliver for community and the economy.”

ACSA has called for urgent action and funding to support the aged care sector after it was recently revealed that 51% of facilities are operating at a loss and Australians are waiting up to three years for the home care they need to be happy and comfortable.

“The good news is that people are starting to realise that rules and regulations can’t improve aged care by themselves. It is now up to government and the community to work together and pursue the big changes that we hope to see out of the Royal Commission.

“The Royal Commission is receiving evidence about innovative models from overseas that could help us adapt and improve. There are plenty of ideas and solutions out there, many of which Australia’s aged care providers are trying to implement here, but they need effective funding and a supportive regulatory environment to do so.”



Media contact: Patrick Molan 0418 173 201

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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