LASA Chief Executive Officer Sean Rooney welcomed today’s release of the Aged Care Legislated Review conducted by David Tune.
“LASA recognises the critical importance of the aged care reform agenda to ensure accessible, affordable, quality care and services are available now and into the future for all older Australians,” Mr Rooney said.
LASA welcomed David Tune’s Review report noting progress across the industry in pursuit of an aged care and services system underpinned by the principles of:
- empowering older Australians to age at home in their community, close to family and friends
- providing older Australians with choice about what care and services they receive and who provides this care and service
- enabling a market-based approach for the provision of care and services
- consumers contributing to the cost of their care and support, commensurate with their capacity to do so.
Mr Rooney said the Review highlights significant progress in meeting the intent of the reform agenda.
“The Review includes 38 recommendations that collectively build on reform progress to date and provide considered approaches to addressing many of the current challenges experienced by consumers and providers in the industry,” Mr Rooney said.
“The next step is for our industry and the Government to review the costs and benefits of the recommendations in detail in order to make informed decisions.”
Mr Rooney said LASA notes with disappointment the Government ruling out some recommendations without due consideration.
“While LASA understands the sensitivities of any potential changes to consumer contributions for age services, the Government’s approach to ruling out any consideration of changes to life time caps and means tests involving the family home, shuts down much needed discussion on how to fund the system now and into the future.
“LASA calls on the Government to reconsider LASA’s previous proposal to develop a sustainable funding strategy for the aged care system in order to ensure certainty and stability for consumers, providers and Governments. Without this, it is not clear how we can adequately plan and deliver a system that will meet the needs of older Australians into the future.”
Mr Rooney welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will increase support to older Australians waiting for home care packages.
“Increasing supply of these home care packages by 6000 will ease the frustrations of many older Australians who are unable to access appropriate age services,” Mr Rooney said.
“However, this increase in supply will not keep pace with demand and a long term solution needs to be found to ensure appropriate access to home care services for older Australians.”
LASA acknowledges the Government’s appointment of Professor John Pollaers as Chair of a workforce strategy taskforce as an important step towards building and retaining a sustainable aged care workforce – one of the sector’s biggest challenges.
Mr Rooney welcomed the announcement of an additional $20 million investment in the My Aged Care portal, noting a focus will be improved access for rural and remote communities.
“LASA has petitioned the Government to further develop this service and we look forward to details of the enhancements planned,” Mr Rooney said.
“Overall, the review is an important reflection on the status of the aged care reforms process in Australia and provides useful recommendations to build on.”