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Aged care report a good start, but reform is needed now

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 9 Aug 2011

The Australian Greens have welcomed the Productivity Commission’s ‘Caring for Older Australians’ Report and say it provides a good start for the way forward in aged care.

“The aged care system is clearly in crisis. This will get worse the more the Government delays. It is vital they begin implementing the reform process now,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Spokesperson on Ageing said today.

“If we continue to delay this reform, an increasing number of aged care providers will become non-viable. The Government must send clear signals early about the approach it intends to take so we can continue to guarantee quality care in the short to medium term.

“The Productivity Commission supports going to an entitlement system, which we believe has merit. Whichever system is chosen, it is clear that we are going to need additional funding.

“Already the debate is focusing on the family home issue. We need to have a sensible discussion about the role of co-contributions, which will inevitably involve discussions about the family home.

“The Productivity Commission has recognised that some families will not want to sell their homes, and they have put forward a process with many alternatives.

“The Commission has put a great deal of thought into dealing with this very emotional issue and it is a good basis for further discussion.

“This isn’t about the Government pulling back from aged care. The Greens strongly support ongoing and increasing investment, but we need to consider, for those that can afford to pay, the role of co-contributions while insuring that the disadvantaged and vulnerable still have access to good quality aged care,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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