11/05/2021 - 18:58

$18bn for aged care in response to royal commission

11/05/2021 - 18:58

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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has confirmed the government has allocated an additional $17.7 billion over five years to restore trust in the aged care sector.

$18bn for aged care in response to royal commission
The federal government announced tonight it had accepted 126 of the 148 recommendations. Photo: Pixabay

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has confirmed the government has allocated an additional $17.7 billion over five years to restore trust in the aged care sector.

The record funding is in response to the release of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which was made public on March 1, 2021.

In the 2021-22 financial year, funding is expected to be $25.9 billion, up from $24.5 billion in 2020-21, and is estimated to reach $32.8 billion in 2024-25.

The federal government announced tonight it had accepted or accepted in principle 126 of the 148 recommendations from the final report.

Of those not accepted, six have been rejected, four alternative recommendations have been selected and twelve recommendations are subject to further consideration or noted in the government response.

Importantly, the government said the recommendations would lead to a reformed aged care sector that would put older Australians in the centre of their care.

The government responded to the commissioners findings that residential aged care providers received inadequate funding to provide high quality care. 

It allocated $7.8 billion to improve the quality, safety and sustainability of residential aged care services, including increasing the basic daily fee by $10 per resident per day.

It committed $49.1 million to expand the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority to help ensure aged care costs are directly related to the care provided, and $189.3 million for a new Australian National Aged Care Classification to deliver fairer and more sustainable funding arrangements.

About $21 million will be used to establish greater independent oversight of the sector and $301.3 million will be provided to address failures in care and increase capability and capacity of the Aged Care Quality Safety Commission.

The government also accepted the commissioner's recommendation of requiring minimum staffing times, and allocated $3.9 billion to help aged care providers to fulfil the new requirements. 

From October 1, 2023, residential aged care facilities will have to deliver an average of 200 care minutes per resident per day. From July 1, 2022, residential aged care providers will be required to report and publish care staffing minutes on the MyAgedCare website. 

The increasing number of people living with dementia was also addressed, with an additional $74.8 million earmarked to assist providers to deliver care to this group.

In an effort to keep people at home for longer and clear the Home Care Packages waitlist, he government will provide $6.5 billion for an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages, bringing the total number to 275,000.

A total of $798.3 million in extra funding support has been offered to informal and family carers.

More information will be available for families to make informed choices about aged care, including a Star Rating System on the MyAgedCare website.

The government has allocated money to make the system more equitable, including $630.2 million to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and special needs groups, as well as people living in regional, rural and remote communities access aged care services.

The funding outlined in the budget is in addition to the $452 million package announced immediately after the release of the final report.

That funding was to implement: an audit program of more than 500 facilities a year that provide home care; 1,500 extra audits of residential aged care under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner; and regulation to ensure protection against chemical and physical restraints.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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