Investing in the future of aged care in Australia is critical for ensuring that older Australians receive the care and support they need and deserve. The Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) has proposed 15 recommendations under six priority areas for the 2023 Federal Budget, which will be handed down in May by the Albanese Labor Government.
ACCPA CEO Tom Symondson emphasises the need for sustainable funding and changes to the workforce to address the ongoing aged care crisis. According to Symondson, seven out of ten aged care providers are operating at a loss, and the situation is worsening. He believes a debate is necessary to find a way of protecting access for those who can least afford to pay for their care while supporting a sustainable aged care sector.
ACCPA proposes several key reforms to address the aged care crisis, including the development of a sustainable funding system and proposals to ease the sector’s workforce crisis. The association recommends implementing the indexation increase for all forms of aged care to catch up with the Royal Commission’s recommendation from two years ago. They also suggest an injection of $853 million into the Home Care Program to clear the waiting list for 2023-24 ahead of the program’s commencement in July 2024.
ACCPA’s submission focuses on what can be established or “seeded” in the coming year so that a positive impact on the lives of older people can be realistically achieved. The association is committed to a collaborative approach, working in partnership with the government, consumers, aged care workers, and providers to develop solutions to the considerable challenges facing Australia’s aged care sector.
The priority areas for reform proposed by ACCPA include ensuring a long-term sustainable funding system, funding to improve the lives of older people in Australia, delivering seamless aged care for older Australians in their communities, homes, and residential care if they need it, planning for aged care reform success, ensuring aged care for where you live, when you need it, and how you need it, and solving the workforce crisis to ensure the best care.