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Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck. Photo: Luke Bowden

New home care funds welcome but queue problem will persist: peak

Aged care minister Richard Colbeck has announced a bump in funding for entry-level home support, but aged care providers says the sector is being drip fed.

Colbeck said $150 million in government funding will be spent over three years to enable more senior Australians to access entry-level home support.

“Around 18,000 seniors will benefit from an expansion of entry-level home support over the next 12 months,” he said.

“These grants will enable more services to be available in areas where demand outstrips supply so that senior Australians can continue to be at home.”

Aged and Community Services (ACSA) said while the move will help thousands of Australians needing support, it won’t do much to dent the waiting list.

The latest Home Care Packages Program data report revealed that the waitlist jumped to 129,000 by the end of March.

Patricia Sparrow, ACSA chief executive, said: “Of course, providers and older Australians are always appreciative of additional investment, but the drip feed will need to end at some point.

“We need to ensure that the thousands of people waiting for home care get support and that the sector is sustainable well into the future."

Sparrow said the sector needs an urgent boost of 40,000 level 3 and 4 home care packages for the period 2019–20, which she said is the main cause of the waiting list backlog.

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