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Peaks call for aged care resolutions before the year’s end

Australia’s aged care providers are telling government what they want this holiday season – a better aged care system in 2020.

And they warned of an impending “aged care emergency” if nothing changes.

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), The Aged Care Guild, Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia and UnitingCare Australia have come together to urge government to use the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) to address immediate concerns in residential aged care and home care.

“We commend the Government’s prompt commitment to key issues raised by the royal commission’s interim report, but the areas addressed are only the tip of the iceberg and the package announced is insufficient to support senior Australians today,” the peaks said in a statement.

“The fact is, without further investment, residential facilities – and associated home and community care services – will be lost in the next 12 months.”

They pointed to analysis by LASA-commissioned accounting professionals that showed almost 200 residential aged care providers across Australia are at risk of unacceptably high levels of financial distress.

“Around 15 per cent of providers have reported that they may need to close services in the next 12 months if circumstances do not improve,” the peaks added.

They said government needs to urgently improve funding for residential aged care and the workforce that supports it, and develop a detailed plan to fund the home care packages required for the 120,000 Australians currently on the wait list.

The groups also want government to embed community infrastructure strategies in National Drought Response Plans to reduce the aged care and health service disadvantage experienced by these regions.

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