Confirmation that almost 90,000 older Australians are unable to access home care packages, including 68,000 with high need, is shocking and simply unacceptable.
The revelation comes with the tabling of the Aged Care Legislated Review (the Review) in parliament, today.
The Review is a result of Labor’s 10 year Living Longer Living Better aged care reform and was designed to analyse the first stage of reforms and guide further measures.
It is obvious that the Turnbull Government’s poor implementation of recent home care changes is now hurting older Australians.
While an additional 6000 high need home care packages is welcome, it is unclear whether any new funding has been committed and is more than 60,000 packages short of the current demand, according to 2015 figures in the Review.
The Government must release updated data urgently.
It also raises questions about why the Government has taken so long to act when the Review shows it has been a growing problem for some time.
Labor called for an investment in additional packages back in May.
The lack of detail around how the packages will be funded or when they will be released also raises alarm bells.
While Labor welcomes further investment in My Aged Care, this is the fourth time the Turnbull Government has poured more money into a portal that consumers can’t work.
Given the Government’s commitment to establish an Aged Care Workforce Taskforce in July, the announcement of Professor John Pollaers as the Chair without details of membership or a works program is also extremely disappointing.
By 2050 we will need a 300 per cent increase in the number of aged care workers – the time for action is well overdue.
The Turnbull Government’s response overwhelming exposes a lack of clear commitment to ongoing reform.
The Review should be a wakeup call to the Turnbull Government that urgent action is needed to make our aged care system fairer and more sustainable for all older Australians.
Labor thanks David Tune for his work over the last 12 months, as well as the 145 individuals and organisations that provided submissions to the Review, and the many more who attended workshops and consultation sessions around the country.
Labor has requested a full briefing from independent reviewer David Tune.
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