May 15, 2024

Delay to aged care reform a backward step

Delay to aged care reform a backward step
“We must do more and set a new direction for the Aged Care Sector, as outlined in the Final Taskforce Report, “ said Southern Cross Care Queensland's CEO (SCCQ) Jason Eldering. [Shutterstock].

The Albanese Government’s decision to postpone crucial reforms in the aged care sector is concerning at a time when progress is most needed.

Southern Cross Care Queensland’s CEO (SCCQ) Jason Eldering said the government’s lack of willingness to respond to the Aged Care Taskforce’s final report exposes the sector’s future.

“At this time of uncertainty, we need clarity and conviction to act on the Taskforce’s recommendations when the sector requires decisive leadership and direction to ensure our aged care services remain world-class now and into the future,” Mr Eldering said. 

Mr. Eldering expressed significant concern over the Government’s omission of a response to the Taskforce’s recommendations in its Budget, which is essential for the sector’s viability and sustainability.

“There is urgent need for reforms to address the challenges of our aging population, especially given the unique pressures faced by regional providers compared to metropolitan ones,” he said.

“The delay exacerbates existing issues of underinvestment and innovation that are desperately required for this critical Health & Community Service sector.

“There is a need for immediate action, noting that regional Australians will likely bear the brunt of the Government’s inaction.

“The ability of our valued and much-loved ageing Australians being able to access reliable, quality services in their own communities later in life is at risk if we don’t address the long-standing inadequacy of aged care funding and the need to implement the Taskforce recommendations.”

“The impact of the industry’s underinvestment due to a lack of direction is playing out now with increased bed blocking in public and private hospitals, growing waiting lists for residential aged care and inadequate access to home care services.

“We must do more and set a new direction for the Aged Care Sector, as outlined in the Final Taskforce Report. “

Mr Eldering called for service and courage from the Australian Government to prioritise the needs of Australia’s aging population and to act on the Taskforce’s recommendations without further delay.

As a leading aged care provider, SCCQ employs over 1,200 staff and serves more than 2,300 individuals through its extensive network, including 13 aged care facilities, five retirement villages, and home care services.

“Our organisation remains committed to advocating for the well-being of every individual we serve, underscoring the belief that every person truly matters,” Mr Eldering said.

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  1. The delay is welcomed by those who are recipients of the system. There have been changes made to the existing aged care act through legislation in order to create a phased implementation of the new act. This has had MASSIVE detrimental impacts on those who are dependent on the HCP program. Those who chose to Self Manage using the consumer directed care model have been completely shafted because of these changes and one Provider has closed its doors because of the invasive nature of the new rules and processes being implemented as part of the reform. Not sure whose view you have presented in the above article, it’s certainly not users of the programs covered by the act.

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