Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Ken Wyatt has announced a Department of Health higher up will head the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Janet Anderson will lead its establishment as it prepares to begin operations from 1 January 2019.
Anderson will also oversee the approval, accreditation, assessment, complaints resolution, monitoring and compliance of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.
She will report directly to Wyatt.
COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said Anderson’s appointment is another step toward a new era for aged care in Australia.
“Janet Anderson has an impressive resume and is well equipped to lead the Commission in tackling the complexities and specific challenges riddling our aged care system and its effective regulation,” Yates said.
For the past two years, Anderson worked as deputy chief executive and acting chief executive of the Northern Territory Department of Health.
Prior to that, she was first assistant secretary, health services, in the Department of Health from 2012 to 2015, and director of inter-government and funding strategies in the New South Wales Department of Health from 2006 to 2011.
She also briefly acted as chief executive of ACT Health but stepped down due to personal circumstances after it was publicly announced.
The government also appointed Associate Professor Michael Murray to assist Anderson as interim chief clinical advisor.
Murray is president of the Board of Directors at the National Ageing Research Institute, an Associate Professor at Melbourne University and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care at La Trobe University.
He will assist Anderson with key establishment activities until she appoints a permanent clinical advisor.
Pegged by Wyatt as a one-stop shop, the new Commission will have a budget of almost $300 million over four years.
“Senior Australians and their families will know who to contact when they need help with a complaint, a concern or when something goes wrong,” he said. “Providers will also benefit from being able to deal with one regulatory agency, and know who to contact in relation to their accreditation, quality monitoring and compliance requirements.”
Pat Sparrow, chief executive of Aged and Community Services Australia, said all parties with an interest in aged care need the system to function with firm but fair regulation that protects the principles of safety and quality of life.
“We absolutely need regulation that holds to account those who abuse or neglect and identifies those instances of sub-standard care in a timely and effective way,” Sparrow said.Do you have an idea for a story?
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