Home | News | New survey shows most Aussies want more funding for aged care, willing to pay for it: Royal Commission

New survey shows most Aussies want more funding for aged care, willing to pay for it: Royal Commission

A largescale survey of 10,000 adults shows that Australians believe the government should increase funding to the aged care sector.

The research paper involved speaking with adults not currently using aged care services and found that 90 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the government should provide higher funding for aged care services.

Almost 60 per cent agreed there should be a reallocation of public expenditure to aged care. And on average, those people thought the share of public expenditure to aged care should be doubled.

This survey comes soon after the commission released research looking into new ways of funding aged care appropriately in the future. This research suggested that the government would need to increase spending by 50 to 100 per cent on top of what already goes into the sector.

Consultation paper 2 – Financing Aged Care, floated a scenario where Australians stump up for an aged care social insurance scheme to fund the financially failing sector. It could operate similarly to existing mandatory schemes such as accident compensation, the Superannuation Guarantee and the Medicare Levy, and be private or publicly run.

The majority of people said they would be willing to make co-contribution payments if they needed to access aged care services in the future, according to the new survey.

Taxpayers said they would be willing to pay higher tax to better fund aged care. On average taxpayers said they would pay 1.4 per cent extra income tax for satisfactory aged care and 1.7 per cent extra for high quality services.

The work was carried out by Flinders University on behalf of the commission and is the first of its kind internationally.

Writing in The Conversation Julie Ratcliffe, Professor of Health Economics and lead researcher of the study, said that the research is an important insight into societal views of the current aged care system and shows that the public know how important funding is to good aged care.

“There is an urgent need for new investment in aged care infrastructure to deliver a uniformly skilled and trained workforce to accommodate the needs, expectations and preferences of increasing numbers of older people in our society,” Ratcliffe wrote.

“And finally, there’s an urgent need for stronger integration between the aged care sector and the health system to ensure all older Australians can access the care and services they need to maximise their quality of life.”

The next hearings of the Royal Commission will take place in Sydney from the 10 to 14 August and will cover the response to COVID-19 in aged care and accommodation.

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