Leading Age Services Australia, the voice of aged care, says alarming new data reveals the immediate need for Government intervention to relieve financial stress affecting the sector, while the Aged Care Royal Commission goes about its critical work.
In its Aged Care Financial Performance Survey for the financial year ended 30 June 2019, StewartBrown highlights viability concerns for some approved providers, impacting on their ability to maintain service levels, reducing investment in the sector and potentially causing the dislocation of care recipients and staff if a service fails.
The survey emphasises that the performance of the sector continues to experience significant challenges due to further declines in the financial results in both the residential and home care segments due to the subsidies provided by the Government not keeping pace with the rising costs of delivering high quality care and services.
It reports that residential care operating results for the financial year declined in real terms even after the one off Government injection of $320 million.
The report says “..substantial and appropriate funding initiatives, need to progress during the Royal Commission period rather than delaying until their findings and recommendations are tabled, to then be considered by Parliament and sector stakeholders, which may be some years away. The aged care sector does not have the luxury of time as many of the issues being experienced are increasingly of a long-term nature and, accordingly, will require structural changes to remedy.”
LASA CEO Sean Rooney says the latest data only confirms what the sector has been telling Government and warns that older Australians will be impacted unless action is taken now.
“Our Members have been warning of potential withdrawal of services, staff cuts and reduced services to residents and care recipients unless something changes,” Mr Rooney said.
“Meeting the needs of older Australians is an issue of national importance. Ongoing financial pressure undermines the sector’s ability to provide the services that older Australians need and deserve.
“As this report states, we cannot wait for the Royal Commission to run its course as that will be too late for some providers.
“LASA renews its call on the Government to act now to prevent loss of services while the Royal Commission goes about its important job of considering longer-term reforms for the aged care system.”
About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)
LASA is the national association for all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living/seniors housing. Our purpose is to enable high performing, respected, and sustainable age services that support older Australians to age well by providing care, support and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion – always.
We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 56% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 36% are for-profit providers and 8% are government providers.
Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.
Contact: David O’Sullivan Ph 0427 138 024 E firstname.lastname@example.org