Jan 17, 2020

Aged care residents receive half the funding of prisoners


Aged care residents receive around half the government funding of prisoners, the CEO of a Tasmanian nursing home has told local media.

Aged Care Deloraine CEO, Charlie Emmerton, told The Advocate it was “really sad” older members of the community receive such low levels of funding.

“On average we get $50,000 a year for a resident, which includes their daily care, cleaning, washing, medication, and food.

“If I was running a prison I would get $100,000 per inmate. In a prison they don’t need to be toileted or hand fed or help with putting their clothes on,” he said.

Mr Emmerton was commenting on the latest report by StewartBrown, which shows more than 50 per cent of the aged care operators surveyed are making a loss.

The results are even worse in outer regional and remote areas, where 65 per cent of homes made a loss, compared with 47 per cent in cities.

Mr Emmerton said his facility is one of the homes struggling to stay afloat.

“If we can’t pay the bills, and that would include wages, that has an incredible effect in the community,” he explained.

Providers will be forced to close their doors

In the wake of the StewartBrown report, Aged and Community Services Australia CEO, Patricia Sparrow, said the government must provide more support for aged care as a matter of urgency.

“More than half of aged care homes are struggling to remain viable – that’s something we need to fix urgently if we want to avoid closures and maintain proper aged care services,” Ms Sparrow said in a statement.

She repeated ACSA’s call for the government to increase funding to the aged care sector.

“ACSA, and the sector generally, has been highlighting these trends and calling on Government to provide more support so that older people all over Australia can continue to receive the care they need when they need it,” she said.

“If we don’t take action now, people will miss out on what they need because providers have been forced to close or reduce services.”

New funding mechanism’s aim is to ensure funding covers cost of care

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck issued a statement to HelloCare saying the government’s aim is to ensure the sector operates on ”a sound financial footing”.

To this end, the government has commissioned the Australian Health Services Research Institute to develop the Australian National Aged Care Classification Assessment Tool, which is intended to be performed by an expert clinician who is not familiar with the resident and to capture the true cost of delivering care.

A trial of the AN-ACC will be completed soon.

“The introduction of a new funding model will be a tangible step toward ensuring the industry is fair and the care of elderly and vulnerable Australians remains a priority,” Mr Colbeck said.

Image: artisteer, iStock.

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  1. It’s all well and good for the government to start trials on a new funding system after they deliberately broke the current ACFI system.
    Since the current system was tampered with by the government making it insufficient to provide adequate funding the government has saved hundreds of millions of dollars as they knew they would. The new funding instrument isn’t ready or tested and will not be installed until either late 21 or 22. How are facilities supposed to survive in that time.
    Lots of comments seem to be printed in various articles that are simply ignorant of the facts.
    Private and charitable facilities are funded identically, they both need to make a profit to pay the bills.
    Charities don’t pay payroll tax or for that matter tax in general. The payroll tax supplement was taken from private a few years ago.
    The federal government axed CPI increases to Residential Facilities a few years ago and that is significant.
    Costs of electricity, wages and food have soared over the last five years and has seen half of all facilities running at a loss.
    There is a considerable lack of equality between private and charitable facilities that exasibates the problem.

    Regrettably, our aged associations have failed repeatedly to get a funding repair and refuse to look at alternative methods to drive our cause and this is bloody frustrating for those losing money delivering care.
    Associations are looking at another round of consultation with the government, what a waste of time and resources!
    A plan was developed between myself and the Guild and put to other associations prior to Christmas but nothing eventuated. The plan was for a very fast fielding of expressions of interest, culminating in industrial action. Nothing to affect care delivery but things that would affect the department of health and various government agencies.
    Ask your association if your interested, ask me, or ask the Guild.
    Another round of talks or waiting for the May budget is nonsense because there is no need for the government to act. I’m not interested in making friends in government but I am interested in being able to continue to operate viably moving forward. We should also be looking at compensation for the deliberate hardship brought about by the federal governments attack on residential care facilities!

  2. Hey hellocare, deployment should be department and I put in two interests side by side. If you can fix please.

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