LASA welcomes the Government’s $101.2 million commitment specifically for aged care to tackle COVID-19 but will work closely with authorities for more support as needed.

Part of a $2.4 billion COVID-19 health package, the funding will provide extra training for aged care workers and support providers to hire more nurses and staff, for both residential and home care. It will also fund extra “surge” staff for emergency deployment to facilities as needed. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will also receive more funds to work with providers on improving infection control.

“This is a strong start and we applaud the Government’s timely action to bolster protection for some of our most vulnerable Australians and the dedicated workforce who care for them,” LASA CEO Sean Rooney said.

“The funding will help boost confidence among residents, staff and families and complements the myriad actions that providers and staff are taking to protect against the virus.

“We welcome this demand-driven response and will continue working hard to link providers and the Government, should extra funding and support be needed to protect older Australians and staff in the care sector.”

LASA also welcomes a $100 million fund that will pay for a new Medicare-funded telehealth service for people over 70 in home isolation or quarantine, including in aged care facilities, plus onsite pathology services.

“These measures will make response times quicker and prevention and care easier in aged care residences,” Mr Rooney said.

A further $30 million will be provided for a national communications plan.

“Ensuring Australians in general know the risks and the vigilance required is critical, because protecting older Australians and the people who care for them is a broader community responsibility,” Mr Rooney said.

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au