Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) CEO Pat Sparrow is looking forward to working with the federal government, principally minister for aged care Ken Wyatt, in formulating future funding models for residential aged care.
This clarion call came upon the release of a new report, titled Alternative Aged Care Assessment, Classification System and Funding Models, which was commissioned by the government and written by the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute.
Currently, the federal government spends “around $17.5 billion” annually on aged care, according to Wyatt, and it is expected to rise to $21 billion by 2020.
“It’s important that we review the way we fund aged care to ensure we create an aged care system that is affordable, sustainable, flexible and responsive to consumers,” Wyatt said.
“In 2015–16, more than 1.3 million older people received some form of aged care and with more Australians living longer and healthier lives, those numbers will increase.
“To meet the level of demand for aged care services now and into the future the Australian Government needs to make sure its funding gives the best possible value for money.”
Responding to this release, Sparrow stressed the salve of stability.
“Aged care providers want to deliver quality care that meets the needs of their residents,” Sparrow slept out. “Even more important, given the move to the market-based, consumer-driven system envisioned by the Aged Care Sector Committee’s Aged Care Roadmap for Reform.
“ACSA has long argued that we need to ensure stability and sustainability of the industry that provides vital services to older Australians. With other NFP aged care peak bodies we have developed principles to guide the development of such a funding model.
“The report released today focuses on the current funding envelope for residential aged care. However, it is critical that development of the new model includes a consideration and understanding of what the government actually subsidises for an individual.
“When it is clear what the government pays for there can be a more sensible discussion on user pays issues and options, including equity release. This is important as the population ages and demand for services increases.”Want to share your thoughts on this topic? Do you have an idea for a story?
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