The Coalition Government will significantly boost support for older Australians with an injection of $106 million to support better facilities, better care, and better standards in aged care.
Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja said Australia’s tough new aged care cop – the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission – will receive a further $16 million to police quality, boost specialist response teams for complaints, audits and compliance and support consumers when failures occur.
“ACT Seniors have told me that there are issues in our aged care system, and the Coalition is working towards fixing these issues,” Senator Seselja said.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said older Australians deserve our respect and they should receive the very best care available.
“The Morrison Government is committed to keeping Australians safe and this includes as they age,” Minister Hunt said.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the overwhelming majority of aged care providers do the right thing but we recognise some have not been up to scratch.
“This funding boost builds on the $32.6 million we announced in May for the new Commission and means issues can be highlighted and dealt with quickly under one agency which reports directly to Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Our message is clear – any organisation or person doing the wrong thing will be found. Sub-standard care will not be tolerated, including the option to shut down an operator doing the wrong thing.”
The new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will bring together the functions of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.
From 1 January 2020, the Commission will take over the aged care regulatory functions of the Department of Health including provider approvals, quality and prudential compliance, and compulsory reporting.
There will be no more silos – there will be instant and constant communication on compliance, risks and complaints.
The Commission will further ensure there is nowhere to hide on quality care, building on the Government’s introduction of unannounced reaccreditation audits of aged care homes from 1 July 2018.
There are expected to be more than 500 unannounced reaccreditation audits this financial year, along with an additional 2,700 unannounced site visits by assessment teams.
Working with Australian families and aged care providers, we are absolutely committed to giving senior Australians the protection, support, care, and respect they deserve.
This builds on our support in 2018-19 Budget where we boosted support of older Australians with a $5 billion package.
The Package gives older Australians more choices and greater flexibility, including:
- Boosting home care funding by $1.6 billion.
- Growing home care packages from around 87,000 now to 151,000 by 2021-22 – including a 34,000 increase in high-level packages.
- Allowing pensioners to earn more without reducing their pension;
- Greater flexibility to use home equity to increase retirement incomes.