Aged care reform needs budget commitment this year – Greens

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The Australian Greens say the Government’s aged care reform package needs to be backed up with a strong commitment in the May budget.

“Tomorrow’s announcement around aged care reforms has been eagerly anticipated and a chance for the Government to show commitment to the aged care,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on ageing said today.

“It is important that tomorrow we see more than just changes to the existing system - there needs to be comprehensive reform backed up with sustained investment. It is vital to the sustainability of the aged-care sector for the Government to demonstrate a vision and commitment to long-term reform.

“Now is not the time to penny-pinch or under fund this already struggling sector.

“In addition to long term funding, there is a strong case for the provision of transitional funding for aged care providers who are already at crisis point, this needs to be made available as a matter of urgency.

“It is clear that reforms in the sector need to include significant investment in community care, which is essential for helping people remain in their own homes and in familiar surroundings for longer periods.

“In the latest Aged Care Approvals Round, the  Government offered funding for around 1700 community care places, for which there were 25,000 applications for those places in this year’s allocations. 

“Demand from organisations to provide community care services is outstripping funding supply by 14 to 1. 

“These reforms are essential to ensuring a viable and effective system to provide care for our ageing population well into the future,” Senator Siewert concluded.