AGED CARE REFORM
The Australian Government has announced reforms of Aged Care services in response to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission report on Aged Care. The government aims to create a more stable and sustainable future for the industry and improve services and choice for older people.
The proposed reforms have been received positively by the industry as an important first step in creating a sustainable system to support Australia's ageing population.
The reforms announced address many of the recommendations of the Productivity Commission and will provide a framework for responding to some of the more complex recommendations in future years.
What are the Changes and how will they affect you?
The Government will invest:
- $1.9 billion to deliver better access to aged care services;
- $1.2 billion over five years to tackle critical shortages in the aged care workforce;
- $80.2 million to improve aged care linkages with the health system;
- $54.8 million to support carers;
- $268.4 million to tackle the nation's dementia epidemic;
- $192 million to support the diverse care of Australia's ageing population.
Among the reforms announced are:
- A significant additional investment into Home Care places. This will increase Home Care places from 191,000 to 221,000, giving older people more of an opportunity to stay in their homes for as long as possible.
- A new aged care gateway will be established to make services easier to find and navigate.
- Means testing of government subsidies with protection by annual and lifetime fee caps.
For most older people this will mean services are easier to access when they are needed, that there is increased choice, and that services remain affordable.
Colleen Doyle, Principal Research Fellow in Service Development and Evaluation at University of Melbourne, views the reform in a positive light.
"The reforms announced by the government are welcome and in line with preferences expressed by older Australians - both in research and in government consultations - to be able to live in their own homes with adequate support for as long as possible."
Stephen Leeder, Professor of Public Health and Director, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, also expressed his outlook when the reform was announced.
"Today's announcements are a splendid endorsement of the efforts of dedicated bands of aged-care service providers, advocates and carers."
We look forward to seeing the detail of the proposed reforms and working with the government, industry, and our clients and their families to continue to strengthen aged care services in Australia.
Jason Howie, CEO
Therese Adami, General Manager
1300 733 510