UnitingCare aged care leaders seek commitments on reform
Leaders of UnitingCare Australia’s aged care network, one of the largest in the country, are meeting Federal politicians in Canberra today ahead of strategic reform meetings with Government and the sector in the coming weeks.
National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said UnitingCare is calling on decision makers to keep the momentum going on the reform of the care of older Australians in a robust not for profit environment, with a focus on access for lower income and disadvantaged Australians, Indigenous people and people in remote and regional Australia.
“Concessional subsidies must be matched to the real cost of care, community based care needs to grow, and access to capital must be assured so services can grow and respond to demand,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
“There have been 15 independent reports in the last five years on aged care reform and the time for action is now.
“Of particular note is the Productivity Commission’s recent report which has brought together the expertise, analysis and recommendations from ten years of inquiry. It provides a clear framework for substantial reform of the way we provide services and support to older people and their families.
“The current system was not designed for and is not ready for the increasing numbers of older Australians, especially those who have coped with disadvantage earlier in life, or who require complex care.
“While those who can should contribute to the cost of their care, low income Australians need to be assured that they will get the care they need when are where they need it.
“Existing policies and funding arrangements related to health, housing, urban design and community engagement do not support healthy ageing, social inclusion or continuity as people’s care needs increase.
“At a broader level, the Government is undertaking a significant reform of the relationship between government and the not for profit sector. The aged care reforms must ensure that not for profit services can continue to work with government to deliver good quality services.
“We are talking today with key members of Government, the Opposition and the Australian Greens because this whole Parliament needs to step up to the once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a modern aged care system to older Australians.”