How can we improve aged care?
There needs to be a single aged care program to support you wherever you live.
Neither the Government nor the Opposition have not yet articulated the steps and timetable for fully implementing the recommendations of the Aged Care Sector Committee’s Roadmap or the earlier Productivity Commission report.
To help kick start work in this area the Alliance has developed an Election Position Statement for the major parties to respond to this election. That statement has a clear and comprehensive set of actions for parties to endorse so we get a world class aged care system in Australia. You can download a copy of our election positions here.
Some of the key commitments Age Well is looking for from all major parties this election include:
- Stopping the process of giving bed licences to providers and instead, just as in Home Care from February 2017, giving consumers the right to choose where their residential care funding will be allocated, and to move it if they are not happy.
- Uncapping supply by ending the arbitrary and unfair aged care ratios so that all older Australians can get care and services as and when they need them – it is not appropriate that if you’re the 113th or later person needing care and services you will have to wait until services become available when government decides how many places there will be.
- Moving to providing consumers with a level of resources determined by a needs based assessment from My Aged Care to meet their needs however they choose to do so – in their own home, a residential care home, or some other setting.
- That Government and the aged care sector work together to identify the financial and related risks associated with providing consumers with the care they need, when and where they need it.
- Removal of the current regulatory restrictions on the quantity and type of services providers can offer. This would enable providers to be more responsive to older people’s needs and
- Commitment to an independent ‘Cost of Care’ study so we can make better, informed decisions about how we fund aged care into the future.
In summary, when the government’s assessment process and experts have said you need a certain level of care and services, but won’t provide it to you, that’s wrong! Consumers don’t have to wait for medical services being paid for by Medicare, or age pensions from Centrelink when they are eligible, why do you have to wait for aged care services? And why don’t you have control over how you spend those funds – your choice of provider – as you do in the health system? Time for the aged care system to catch up!
You can read more about these solutions and other issues facing aged care in our 2016 Federal Election Position Statement here.