Some aged care providers were relieved to hear that the Federal Government chose to postpone reforms to the home care system for 12 months in order to further refine its design.
In this week’s latest Federal Budget, it was announcement that Support at Home changes are being postponed to 2025 which will see the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages (HCP) combined.
HammondCare Chief Executive, Mike Baird, said delays to the Support at Home program showed the Government was listening to the concerns of the aged care sector.
“Aged care providers are under stress adapting and implementing more changes in the last 12 months than ever before in the sector’s history,” he said.
“Changes recently have included Star Ratings, care minute requirements, 24/7 Registered Nurses and a new AN-ACC funding model.
Other welcomed changes included funding for the 15% pay rise for frontline aged care workers plus a further $98.7 million allocation for grants to fund more costly historical leave obligations.
“The Treasurer echoed HammondCare’s feelings when he said of the $11.4 billion measure to boost the wages of aged care workers ‘you deserve every cent’,” Mr Baird said.
Other noted measures include an $112 million incentive program to attract General Practitioners (GPs) into aged care, a temporary exemption on a cap for international student visa holders working in the industry and $166.8 million for additional HCPs.
Mr Baird would like to see more detail on some aspects of the Budget, include the indication of adjustments for care minute allocations withing the AN-ACC funding model from October, and the means by which home hare providers will be able to access increased funding for the pay increase.