MINISTER LEY MUST DELIVER TRANSPARENCY AROUND AGED CARE FUNDING

The Turnbull Liberal Government must release all economic modelling on its 2016 Budget decision to slash $1.2 billion from the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

Having refused to release any justification for the changes Labor has submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request on behalf of the sector to make the data public.

During the election campaign Labor committed to releasing this modelling in order to work with the sector in an open and transparent way and Minister Susan Ley should match this commitment.

Instead of dragging the sector through a lengthy FOI process, Minister Ley should simply release the data and work with the sector to address its concerns now.

If funding has been cut without proper analysis it will adversely impact older Australians in residential aged care and push complex health care patients into already stressed hospitals.

Independent modelling undertaken by the aged care sector before the election found the impact would be significantly higher than the Government’s projections.

This modelling found that funding for care in aged care homes would be reduced on average by 11 per cent which would have a devastating impact on aged care homes, particularly in regional and remote areas.

It is vital that older people in residential aged care can live with dignity, security and in safety and that involves proper funding and compliance measures.

Labor will also move to have the Senate inquiry into the aged care sector workforce reinstated when parliament resumes in August.

The Government has an integral role to play in ensuring this nation has a well-trained workforce to meet the needs of older Australians now and into the future.

The Liberal Turnbull Government failed to put ageing, aged care or dementia on the Liberal agenda during the federal election or at any point during the last three years.

Older Australians and the aged care sector cannot afford another three years of Liberal neglect.

Minister Ley must release all economic modelling for the Government’s changes to the ACFI now and finally commit to a timeline to deliver an aged care workforce development strategy.