Catholic Health Australia has welcomed the terms of reference for an inquiry into aged care announced by the Federal Government, saying it has prioritised the three most important needs of future aged care.
The Productivity Commission's public inquiry's "will enable a blueprint to be developed around three key considerations that will establish aged care as an entitlement," CHA CEO Martin Laverty said in a statement.
"The first is choice. Older Australian's need to be able to choose where they can live. At present, they have limited choice. There are not enough aged care beds in places where they are needed. And people who once received seven hours of care per week in their own home under Community Aged Care Packages today only receive five hours.
"The second is access. Not every older Australian receives access to care when they need it. An illustration is found in last night's Council of Australian Governments announcement for the Federal Government to take control of Home and Community Care (HACC) funding for older Australians.
"Only half of all older Australians who could use care to stay at home receive it through HACC. The Inquiry will need to find a solution to extend care to all who need it.
"The third is sustainability. Providers of high care aged care beds are losing on average $13 per day per bed. This is unsustainable. If we want services to be available to meet growing demand, funding must match the cost of care," Mr Laverty concluded.
One of the commission's key tasks will be to examine the sector's future workforce needs, and offer options to ensure it has a large group of well-trained staff at its disposal, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
It has also been asked to look at ways to guarantee elderly people - particularly those living in the country, veterans and indigenous Australians - have access affordable, appropriate aged care services, the report added.
FULL STORY, STATEMENT AND RELATED STORY
Inquiry to examine aged care sector (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP)
First step in building a new aged care community (Catholic Health Australia)
COAG reforms did not go far enough (Australian Ageing Agenda)
Flickr (Photo by James McTaggart from Oct 1974, taken in Minnesota, US)