Australian aged care reforms face potential delay

As reported by Nine, leaked internal departmental communications suggest the reforms, suggested by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in 2021, will not be implemented by July 1, 2024 as previously suggested.

In the documents, the implementation date was listed as “TBC”, with January or July 2025 predicted as the new implementation date.

The new proposed laws include changes to the standards for residents’ rights, and quality of care, and creating a simpler system. The draft also suggests the possibility of civil and criminal penalties for aged care staff and directors found to be breaking the new standards.

The delay has left some industry experts worried about the uncertainty of the aged care sector.

in response, Aged Care Minister Anika Wells released a media statement earlier today.

The government is now considering the extensive and valuable feedback to refine and finalise the draft legislation before it is introduced to Parliament. We will update the commencement date of the legislation following these updates and before the bill is introduced to the Parliament.

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells

The government released the Aged Care Act Exposure Draft late last year for consultation and input, with an extended deadline of March 8, 2024. At the time, many suggested the time frame was insufficient for proper consultation, including that the draft had areas yet to be finalised.

In a statement, industry peak body, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) supports further consultation, including the formation of a working group to provide input on the new laws.


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