Passage of aged care bills herald benefits

The passage of new reform bills on aged care in the Senate this week will increase the quality of life for many older Australians, Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said in a media release.

Mr Laverty said it was encouraging to see many of his organisation’s recommendations adopted through a series of amendments during debate in the Senate on Wednesday, including the establishment of a $6.9 million transitional fund to help aged care providers, especially smaller providers, during the rollout of reforms.

CHA had lobbied for that assistance in the light of Productivity Commission advice that providers could be negatively impacted by certain aspects of reform as they were introduced.

“The passage of this legislation gives a pathway for providing better care for older Australians, but we shouldn’t think the job of reform has been accomplished just because the bills have passed through the Parliament,” Mr Laverty said.

“It is now time for providers to roll up their sleeves and ensure that the hopes and aspirations of the aged care reform movement can be fulfilled and the care of older Australians improved.”

Mr Laverty said an increase in the number of aged care places – from 113 places per 1,000 people over 70 to 125, over a number of years – is a positive move, although CHA has been a longstanding advocate for an end to service rationing. CHA members will also be grateful for the establishment of the Homeless Supplement, with funding of $29 million over the next four years, to provide services for homeless older people.

The ability of older Australians to more easily choose to receive care in their own home is also to be welcomed as giving consumers greater control over their care provision, Mr Laverty said. 

RELEASE IN FULL Aged care reform bills passage good news for older Australians

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