Blueprint for Aged Care Reform
Australians deserve to age well
In 2012, the then 28 member organisations of the National Aged Care Alliance developed a blueprint for aged care reform which outlined how the major reforms needed can begin in a responsible way as part of this year’s Federal Budget.
The immediate priority was to prepare for our future now by developing and implementing those reforms that will lay the foundations for real and sustainable long-term change, while also responding to the more immediate pressures in the system. We can’t afford to wait.
We can start preparing for the future by:
• Making a public commitment to an entitlement- based aged care service system, and set out a timetable for its implementation.
• Establishing a high level Aged Care Reform Council involving representative stakeholder groups to work with the Government to drive the development and implementation of reform.
• Start developing an entitlement-based system, including wellness-based assessment tools for older people and carers, with an integrated funding model, including the HACC Program.
• Establishing the key bodies – the Gateway and the Australian Aged Care Commission (AACC) – which will drive and enable reform to occur.
• Undertaking an independent cost of care study to set initial prices for care entitlements (pending the establishment of the AACC) which will provide enough funding for quality service delivery and enable the payment of fair and competitive wages.
• Responding to the increasing and unmet demand for care at home by continuing the phased increase in community care packages, particularly at the high needs level, along with the introduction of a mid level package between CACPs and EACH/EACHD.
• Starting the phased increase in the Government accommodation payment for supported residents until it reflects the real regional cost of construction as determined by the AACC.
• Establishing the Australian Pensioners Savings Account and the Australian Aged Care Home Credit Scheme to give people greater flexibility in making aged care co-contributions, without having to sell their homes.
• Removing the outdated and dysfunctional distinction between residential low and high care places, giving consumers the right to the best package of care for their needs and giving service providers the flexibility to respond by tailoring service models and planning to meet local needs.
• Announcing a wages bridging supplement and signing a Heads of Agreement, establishing the payment mechanism, and paying the first installment.
• Establishing an Aged Care Workforce Ministerial Taskforce.
• Investing in dementia risk reduction and research to reduce future numbers of people with dementia.
• Implementing these reforms now has the support of all key stakeholders, including representatives of and advocates for older people, aged care providers, unions and professionals working in aged care.
The Alliance calls on the Federal Government to start implementing these reforms in this year’s Budget, and urges the Opposition, the Greens and the Independents to give these reforms their unanimous support – so that all current and future Australians can age well.
Download a copy of the full blueprint here.