Sep 09, 2022

Second Aged Care Bill amended but industry still in the dark

Second Aged Care Bill amended but industry still in the dark

The second of the Labor Government’s Bills to reform aged care passed the House of Representatives yesterday, despite ongoing questions from the industry about how the legislation will work.

The Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022 includes the 24/7 nursing mandate for aged care homes and industry representatives have been asking for clarification around how the exemptions will work for the mandate.

Before the Bill was passed, amendments were made to ensure exemptions from 24/7 nursing will be time-limited and regularly reviewed, will consider what care arrangements will be in place instead of nursing, and be published for the public to view.

Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells, thanked Members of Parliament and Senators for working “productively” to improve the outcomes of the Bill.

But while the Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), industry peak body, has welcomed the passing of the Bill through the Lower House, they are still deeply concerned over the lack of detail in the legislation.

As the Bill still has to pass the Senate before it becomes law – and Parliament has been suspended due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II – ACCPA Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Paul Sadler, said his organisation should now be given time to review the Bill.

“Now that Parliament is to be suspended next week due to the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we would like an opportunity to examine a draft of the subordinate legislation before the Bill returns to the Senate,” Mr Sadler said.

Mr Sadler explained that there has not been enough time to thoroughly assess the details of the Bill and that this needed to be done before the Bill passed the Senate so that the reforms would be successful.

“These changes are critical to the smooth operation of proposed aged care reforms,” he said.

“While we welcome the exemptions for providers unable to find Registered Nurses [RNs] to ensure there is 24/7 coverage, we have not yet been able to see any detail to assess how their operation could affect aged care providers.

“Now that there is a break before Parliament resumes, we expect to have a chance to see the detail of the subordinate legislation so that we can have some input on behalf of aged care providers.”

The second Aged Care Reform Bill also includes 215 care minutes in residential aged care facilities per resident per day, as well as administration and management fee caps in home care.

Parliament will not return to sitting for at least a fortnight.

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  1. Staff Ratios are inhuman they need Mandating NOW. Our elderly are suffering because of lack of staff to really care for them especially in High Care Units

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