Thursday, 20 April 2017 13:22

UnitingCare Australia welcomes consultation on future of aged care funding

The UnitingCare Australia Aged Care Network has welcomed yesterday’s release of the report: Alternative Aged Care Assessment, Classification System and Funding Models and the announcement by Minister Ken Wyatt of further consultation to determine the best way forward for funding aged care in Australia. 


The report, commissioned by the Federal Government and undertaken by the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute, outlines a number of options for consideration for allocating residential aged care funding.


UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little said that following a period of uncertainty, including significant cuts in funding, it was vital that a stable and sustainable funding model for aged care is developed so the sector can move forward with confidence.  


Ms Little said aged care providers within the Uniting Church had recently joined with other not-for-profit (NFP) aged care bodies to develop core funding principles to inform the development of an alternative model.


“We are seeking a funding model that enables our services to focus on consumers’ health and wellbeing, and supports re-ablement, prevention and restorative approaches to aged care services,” she said.


“Any new model should also ensure that all consumer groups, and especially those who may be socially or geographically isolated, or with high and complex needs, have access to appropriate support, care and services as they require them.


“This will only be possible if the funding model recognises that service viability is a key policy element that must be addressed.


“We recognise the Government’s need to manage the growth of expenditure on aged care, but any sustainable funding model must also consider the growing proportion of those entering residential facilities with high care needs,” Ms Little said.


Ms Little said the UnitingCare Network is pleased that Minister Wyatt is committed to engaging with the sector before any decisions are made on funding options.


“Our network looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the Government around this significant element of the reform process.”