LASA CEO Sean Rooney responded to the Government’s release of the Home Care Packages Program Data Report, six months after the implementation of the Increasing Choice Home Care (ICHC) reforms.
Mr Rooney said that the reforms implemented from 27 February 2017 were a major shift in Australia’s aged care system, aimed at giving consumers greater choice over the services and support they receive in their homes.
“Reform on this scale is not without its challenges and, while the release of home care data today is welcomed, it reveals a system in transition and requiring urgent attention,” he said.
Mr Rooney said the home care system is being challenged by the implementation of significant changes that support greater consumer choice, whilst it is also straining to keep up with growing demand.
“The data shows there are over 50,000 older Australians awaiting a home care package, with a further 35,000 people receiving services below their assessed level of need,” Mr Rooney said.
“Providers and consumers alike welcome the Government’s recent announcement that it will make available an additional 6,000 high level home care packages. However there is more work to do.”
Mr Rooney said the Government’s data confirms the serious concerns raised recently in LASA’s Increasing Choice in Home Care Issues Paper which was based on a national survey of almost 20 per cent of home care providers.
“The Issues Paper was delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Health Minister, the Aged Care Minister, the Human Services Minister and relevant Government Departments in September 2017 calling on them to address 17 key issues.”
Mr Rooney said LASA recognises that the reform agenda in aged care is necessary and ambitious.
“LASA and our Members stand ready to work with the Government and others to resolve the identified issues in the service of older Australians.”