Jan 09, 2023

Report shows sector has plunged deeper into financial loss

09_01_23 financial loss

A new report has found the majority of Australia’s aged care facilities were still running at a loss at the tail end of last year – pointing to staffing shortages, increased levels of overtime and agency staff requirements as the main problems behind this financial crisis.

The latest StewartBrown Aged Care Financial Performance Survey Sector Report analysed records from 1,182 of the 2,500 nursing homes in Australia and found 70% of them ran at a loss over last year’s July-September period, jumping from 67% reported in June quarter.

Aged care facilities also reportedly lost an average of $21.29 a bed per day over that quarter compared to $7.30 over the same period 12 months earlier. Compared to the prior June quarter, the sector was losing $14.67 per bed per day on operating costs.

The sector continues to have a steadily declining financial performance despite a wide range of aged care reforms and funding being put in place last year and the report identified extra funding and long-term reform as the solutions to this crisis.

Aged and Community Care Providers Association’s (ACCPA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tom Symondson, said the numbers outlined in the report equated to an annual loss of $1.4 billion for the industry.

Mr Symondson explained the crisis was caused by the increased cost of delivering services combined with the failure of Federal funding to keep pace with what was happening in the sector in real time.

“It’s not chickenfeed. It’s a very significant number,” Mr Symondson told ABC Radio National.

“We know that aged care has been under huge pressure for years – decades, in fact. 

“COVID has made it worse, but it was already struggling before that.”

Treasurer Jim Chalmers agreed the aged care sector remains a “mess” with a majority of providers experiencing heavy financial losses, however, the Federal Government were looking to “clean it up”.

“Aged care has been a mess for some time and what we’re trying to do in the Albanese Government is to clean it up,” he told ABC Radio National.

October’s Federal Labor Budget saw an extra $2.5 billion allocated to aged care over four years for sector reforms, including a pay rise for aged care workers and an increase in the care minutes residents receive from their care team.

The Budget also earmarked that this year the sector can expect more research and consultation to further reform the home care system, as well as the implementation of a personal care workers registration scheme to help fix the sector. 

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  1. The sector has been saying just this for seven years. Scott Morrison attacked the sector and lied his arse off until we booted him out.
    Nursing homes have also been mauled by the media despite only 1.5% of residents actually complaining about conditions. The various associations were useless and failed the sector over and over for years, sadly despite the vast majority of residents receiving excellent care have been told that perhaps they shouldn’t be happy. A lot of people have been scared off and trying to survive on a very flawed home care service because of this media show but most homes are regaining occupancy because there is no real safe alternative available.

  2. Having worked in aged care for more than 35 years I do not believe they are running at a loss! Management bonus’s are larger, that is where a large amount of the $’s go. Business is top heavy and not accountable for monies received, care given to residents or standards being upheld! It is all about bums on beds and ticking just enough of the correct boxes! Families are scared to speak up for fear of their loved one being singled out as are many carers for fear of losing their job! Royal Commission bought things into the open a little but achieved even less!! How much of a home care package is also taken up in fees and not spent where it should be???

  3. Aged care workers there is agree ment underpaid. Carer’s and agency staff at least ? Cleaners kitchen staff

    However many workers in aged care who do not provide one minute of care the lawyers the creative accountants and the number Pud overpaid managers who do not provide one minute of their time re care needs cost heaps and are paid heaps and get holiday and dick leave benfits

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