CHA calls for wealthy Aussies to step up for aged care survival

Pat Garcia

Catholic Health Australia (CHA), a not-for-profit peak body representing 12% of Australia’s aged care facilities, is calling for wealthy Australians to contribute more to their aged care to ensure the sector’s survival. CHA is requesting the government to include housing wealth in means testing and allow providers to set their own daily fees. With 70% of residential homes operating at a loss in the third quarter of 2022, CHA claims that the aged care sector is under severe financial stress and needs a capital investment of $48 billion by 2030.

Aged care homes are straining under the weight of inflation and COVID-19 costs while facing
long-term financial headwinds as our nation ages.

Pat Garcia, CEO, Catholic Health Australia

CHA argues that while means testing currently considers housing wealth up to $186,331.20, this figure must be increased. Additionally, the cap on the maximum Basic Daily Fee should be removed to reflect actual expenses better. CHA believes that these reforms will create incentives for individuals to make informed decisions about their care and prevent the aged care sector from collapsing.

CHA CEO, Pat Garcia, says that the sector needs a huge investment which could come from either government funding or increased user contributions from those who can afford to pay. Garcia notes that taxpayers already provide 75% of the funding for residential aged care, but this contribution has grown at double the pace of consumer contributions over the past decade. He adds that the median value of an Australian home is around $1 million, meaning the means test cap of under $200,000 overlooks a significant amount of wealth. Garcia concludes that it is only fair for users to contribute more to ensure the continued care of older Australians.


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