Home | News | Funding for 10,000 new aged care beds welcome but reservations persist

Funding for 10,000 new aged care beds welcome but reservations persist

A funding boost of $649 million from the Commonwealth government will pay for 10,000 new aged care bed licenses Australia-wide. Minister of aged care Ken Wyatt announced the allocation on Friday 26 May 2017.

The funding will provide for new beds via the following state-by-state breakdown:

  • Queensland – 2680
  • Victoria – 2645
  • New South Wales – 2470
  • Western Australia – 1623
  • South Australia – 215
  • Australian Capital Territory – 175
  • Tasmania – 103

“As people grow older they increasingly want flexibility in the services they receive and how and when they access them,” Wyatt said. “Australians want greater choice and control over their care and this investment does exactly that.”

“With our rapidly ageing population, the Australian Government is committed to providing a sustainable aged care system that meets the needs of our older Australians.

“Three-quarters of these residential places are being provided to the development of new aged care services, the remainder will enable existing aged care providers to expand their current facilities.”

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) CEO Pat Sparrow responded to the news positively, though with some reservations.

“There was again significant demand for residential aged care places with 45,000 applications for aged care bed licences with 9,911 allocated.

“While the additional investment in residential care beds is welcome, the Aged Care Allocation Round process which allocates the licences is very administrative and restrictive.

“Supply of residential aged care places ultimately needs to be uncapped to ensure beds are available in the areas where people need them most.

“There will always need to be safeguards in place to ensure supply in rural and remote areas and for disadvantaged groups such as homeless people, but uncapping the supply of beds will enable aged care providers do what they do best – providing care and support – while giving older Australians better services and more choice.”

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