Home | Specialty Focus | Call for emergency funding as providers balance on financial cliff

Call for emergency funding as providers balance on financial cliff

A sector expert has urged the federal government to provide emergency funding packages as Australia's aged care providers reach 'critical point' in financial crisis.

Last Tuesday, aged care specialist StewartBrown published its latest report on the sector's performance over six months ending 31st of December 2022.

It revealed the industry continued to grapple with severe financial losses, a rapid decline in occupancy levels, and significant staff shortages.

Residential aged care facilities faced a loss of $15,98 per bed each day – a 54 per cent increase compared to last year's $10,31 per bed per day.

The residential sector was estimated to have lost over $575 million for the six months.

In total, 63 per cent of aged care homes operated at a loss compared to 60 per cent in December 2021.

The occupancy of beds also declined to 90.8 per cent of available beds, contrary to last year's 91.5 per cent.

The report evaluated data from nearly 100,000 beds across over 1,100 aged care homes and over 66,000 home care packages across Australia.

"Residential aged care is at a critical financial sustainability position," StewartBrown said.

The report said aged care providers desperately needed additional funding to cover the sustained operating losses over the past five years.

"To avoid closure of homes, an emergency funding package needs to be considered in the short term to ensure current viability and allow for the funding reforms to be implemented."

StewartBrown said that while the health department had been 'very active' in implementing regulatory changes, it suggested the government and all stakeholders needed to 'embrace reform.'

Rather than focusing solely on government funding issues, aged care recipients needed to contribute more to meet the sector's financial needs. 

"Ultimately, this will come down to requiring a greater level of consumer co-contribution in funding aged care," the report said.

"Clearly, where the consumer does not have the financial means to further contribute to the costs of services, this must not in any respect disadvantage them.

"A safety net must be enshrined within aged care, as with other healthcare and social services areas."

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *