A four-page lift out in The Australian newspaper yesterday about aged care was part of a media partnership with the Aged Care Guild to help increase consumer’s understanding about funding issues and speak directly to policy makers ahead of the federal Budget.
The lift out followed a lunch earlier in the month where a panel of industry leaders discussed the policy challenges in front of News Corp journalists in a bid to better educate and engage national mainstream media and consumers about the aged care industry.
The panel comprised the Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, the Guild Chair and CEO of Regis Ross Johnston, Ian Yates of COTA, and Professor Mike Woods of UTS who did the 2011 Productivity Commission Inquiry into caring for older Australians.
Mr O’Reilly said the partnership aimed to reach out to the body politic and help both media and consumers understand why people are being asked to pay more for their care.
“We have to make the case as to why that is necessary. We can’t just make it to the Department of Health,” he told Inside Ageing.
“It has been timed to be in the run up to the budget where the message is ‘no more cuts’ and in the year of the Tune Review to reinforce the case for further reforms in line with the 2011 PC inquiry and the 2016 Aged Care Roadmap.”
“The dual aim was to build up understanding of the sector after a series of budget cuts and in a year when further reforms will be on the table thanks to the Tune legislative review,” Mr O’Reilly said.
“It came together from a discussion with The Australian about the need to promote broader understanding of the aged care sector as the country ages.”
“The supplement is both aimed at helping to educate the broader policy makers and the broader community. If there is to be reform of the sector we have to make our case beyond our own sector and we have to bring the community along.”
He said The Australian was chosen for its truly national coverage, high degree of coverage of policy and relevant readership demographic, and the Guild would consider doing it again with other interested parties.
“This is a Guild initiative but we’d be happy to do it with other groups in the future. The Tune Review made it particularly important to do this year,” he said.
“We may do it again if it helps build understanding of the sector. Aged care will take more of the Federal Budget in the future and consumers with means may have to pay more in return for a better product and more choice.”
The partnership was underpinned by the Guild and supported by sponsors including ANZ, HESTA, Minter Ellison, Thomson Adsett and Aged Care Development Network.