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Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

No privatised aged care watchdog: minister

The federal aged care minister says states and territories would be responsible for proposed aged care assessment teams.

There has been speculation the government was looking to privatise the watchdog, but Richard Colbeck has told a Senate estimates hearing the teams would be run by governments and “not anyone outside that process”.

“My understanding is the service will effectively be provided by the states and territories,” he told the hearing in Canberra on Wednesday.

An interim report by the aged care royal commission recommended merging Regional Assessment Services and Aged Care Assessment Teams to deliver consistent decisions for older Australians.

In January the commission was forced to distance itself from Senator Colbeck’s comment that privatising the teams was their idea.

He said states and territories would have the best healthcare staff on hand to run and oversee the process.

The government announced last year it would merge two separate organisations that assessed what aged care services a person was eligible for.

Senator Colbeck said on Wednesday this process would mean negotiations with states and territories to form the new national body.

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