Useful initiatives in Budget for aged care: ACSA

There are no surprises in this year’s Budget but there are some useful initiatives said Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), the peak body representing not-for-profit aged care providers.

“Of note, the Government has committed $1.9 million to establish an aged care industry-led taskforce to develop a workforce strategy to ensure we have the care staff required to deliver quality services for the growing number of older Australians,” ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said.

“This is part of a $33 million broader workforce package to help service providers in aged care and disability to grow their workforce. ACSA has been instrumental, with other provider peaks, in advocating the need for such a strategy.”


The Government has extended funding for the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) to 1 July 2020. ACSA acknowledges there is much work to be done to successfully merge the CHSP and Home Care Packages programs into one cohesive program able to support people to continue to live at home.

“It will be important that Government now undertake the development work to ensure the new program commences in full on 1 July 2020 with an integrated assessment workforce and consistent fees policies. It is pleasing to see the commitment to wellness and restorative approaches within the CHSP while the new program is built,” Ms Sparrow said.

“In addition, $3.1million has been provided to enhance the My Aged Care service. Enhancements are much needed and ACSA supports the Government in taking this action.”

“If My Aged Care is to be an effective entry point to the aged care system it must be adequately resourced to ensure older people and providers can easily find the information they need and it is easy to access services.

“ACSA has repeatedly highlighted the need for funding certainty and is pleased that the Government has heeded our advice. The steady-as-she-goes approach outlined in this Budget is necessary while the Legislated Review and ACFI reviews are completed.”

“Industry and the Government will then be able to have a sensible conversation on how aged care funding, including those from the public and private purse, can be structured to ensure our older citizens receive the quality of care they deserve.”

“The Government has also introduced some innovative housing initiatives designed to encourage rightsizing and investment in affordable housing.”

“Housing is a key component in developing an overall approach to both the delivery of aged care services and the sustainability of aged care funding to meet the growing demand. Federal leadership in this important policy area is critical.”

“Finally there is an emphasis on the delivery of palliative care in the home. This small initiative through 10 Primary Healthcare Networks will co-ordinate local services and GPs to build and deliver the services people need at home. Palliative Care is core business for aged care services.”

“Industry and the Government will then be able to have a sensible conversation on how aged care funding, including those from the public and private purse, can be structured to ensure our older citizens receive the quality of care they deserve.”

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