Feds boost funding to aged care sector
THE Coalition Government today announced a $106 million funding boost for aged care after the reform Bill was passed in parliament on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement alongside Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt who said a new independent commission, that has been allocated $16 million of the funding, will be reporting to him directly.
"The additional $16 million will expand the specialist compliance team and comes on top of the $32.6 million announced for the new commission in the Federal Budget, to intensify risk monitoring and establish a new Serious Incident Response Scheme," Mr Wyatt said.
"Any concerns about quality of care will be managed by the one agency and senior Australians, their loved ones and carers will know precisely where to go for help.
"It will be a central point to prevent failures, highlight quality concerns and have them quickly rectified."
Mr Wyatt said the other $90 million would support aged care providers, with "significant funding" rolling out this financial year.
"Forty million will be available from today to support aged care services in regional, rural and remote locations to improve, maintain and expand their infrastructure - ensuring older Australians in these locations receive the same support as people in the cities," he said.
"We will fund $50 million to support residential aged care providers and their staff to improve quality and standards of care across the sector, (with) funding to begin to flow next week.
"This will support 2700 aged care homes and 366,000 staff in new training as they transition to the new, strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards to be enforced from July 1, 2019."
The minister said aged care was a priority for the government.
"The government will shortly release Australia's first industry-led aged care workforce strategy," he said.
"Crucial to this strategy is building workforce capacity, with a strong focus on staff retention and the development of new, professional career paths."
The compliance team will include representation from aged care providers, unions and community groups.