Apr 03, 2024

Leaked documents force Albanese Gov to admit aged care reforms will be delayed

Leaked documents force Albanese Gov to admit aged care reforms will be delayed
The uncertainty surrounding the implementation timeline has sparked concerns among industry experts about the future of aged care in Australia.

Delays loom over Australia’s aged care reforms, pushing crucial changes back by possibly another year.

Australia’s aged care sector faces further delays in implementing crucial reforms recommended by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, potentially pushing the changes back by another year.

Internal communications leaked from the department reveal that the proposed reforms, initially slated for implementation by July 1, may not come into effect until January or July 2025.

These reforms, aimed at overhauling the standards for residents’ rights and quality of care while simplifying the system, include provisions for civil and criminal penalties for aged care staff and directors found to be in violation of the new standards.

The uncertainty surrounding the implementation timeline has sparked concerns among industry experts about the future of aged care in Australia.

“We still haven’t seen large portions of the legislation and we haven’t seen the rules,” remarked Tom Symondson, chief executive of the Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) on 9News

A federal government spokesperson confirmed the delay to 9News, citing additional consultation as the reason behind the extension.

“We appreciate that the government has undertaken some additional consultation; this is a really major act that we need to get through,” noted Patricia Sparrow, chief executive of the Council on Ageing. “How long do older people have to wait for rights? They’ve been waiting for a long time.”

The Royal Commission into Aged Care, which took place between 2018 and 2021, uncovered systemic neglect, abuse, and substandard care endured by nursing home residents over decades, drawing attention to failures by governments, regulators, and aged care providers.

In response to these revelations, Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells, expressed gratitude to all stakeholders who contributed feedback on the draft legislation.

“We heard strong feedback that the proposed new Aged Care Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for systemic reform that we must get right,” the Minister stated.

“The Government is now considering the extensive and valuable feedback to refine and finalise the draft legislation before it is introduced to Parliament.”

The Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to improving aged care standards and highlighted measures already undertaken, including implementing election commitments, addressing Royal Commission recommendations, and achieving tangible improvements in care quality indicators since the Albanese Government took office.

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  1. Having lived more than five years in St Andrew’s Village (now Warrigal Hughes) in Canberra, I am pleased to be able to say that I have experienced none of the bad things (systemic neglect, abuse, and substandard care) mentioned in this story. To the contrary, we have compassionate carers, nurses and other staff and are fortunate to live in a very well managed place.

  2. Good news. This whole policy has been dominated by toxic ageism, particularly in its overt media attacks on Baby Boomers.

    The new Bill is a chamber of horrors, and let’s hope it will be quietly dropped.
    1. The key Recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission were contradicted, most fundamentally the requirement of a levy to ensure adequate funding.
    Powerful providers lobbied for some unfathomable reason against their own future funding.

    That will have to be reversed – an adequate funding levy is quintessential.

    2. The Commission’s recommendation 72 was that disabled people in aged care should have disability support equivalent to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
    That has been ignored.

    3. The Bill allows for enormous unconscionable bonds payable by residents in aged care

    4. Section 23(1) of the Bill states that aged care rights are unenforceable in courts and tribunals.

    The whole thing needs to be started afresh with genuine input from aged care participants to determine how to achieve an aged care system that is world’s best and state of the art.

  3. I’m so sick to death of this absolute farce with govt. How come the facility is advised when they’re doing an audit?? We get told, make sure you do this, do that, don’t say this don’t say that!! Boggles the mind, who is advising the facility when and what time the auditors are coming??? Seriously!! Then they know exactly which residents to talk to??? I’m absolutely stunned!!! This cagey style of govt, are they getting kickbacks to warn ⚠️ the facility??? Please can someone explain..
    This post is to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal PLEASE.

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