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Legislation delivers more choice for older Australians, less paperwork for aged care staff.



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The Hon Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing 7 March 2005

Legislation delivers more choice for older Australians, less paperwork for aged care staff Federal Minister for Ageing Julie Bishop has welcomed the passage through Parliament of legislation to give older Australians more support after a hospital stay.

7 March 2005 JB028/05

Federal Minister for Ageing Julie Bishop has welcomed the passage through Parliament of legislation to give older Australians more support after a hospital stay, and to lift some of the red tape burden on aged care staff.

"This legislation further delivers on the initiatives in the Australian Government’s record $2.2 billion funding package announced in the 2004 Federal Budget,” Ms Bishop said.

"The package included establishing 2,000 new transition care places, which provide older Australians with extra support after a hospital stay, giving them time to assess whether they can return home, or to residential aged care, with a greater level of independence.

"This legislation provides funding to an aged care home while a resident is in transitional care, thereby guaranteeing the aged care place for the resident.

"The Budget package also includes our commitment to lift the burden of asset testing of residents from aged care providers.

"The passage of this legislation means that from 1 July 2005 Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will conduct resident asset testing, freeing up aged care staff to spend more time caring for residents, and less time on paperwork."

Ms Bishop said the Budget package responded to the recommendations of the independent Review of Pricing Arrangements in Residential Aged Care (the Hogan Review).

"The Australian Government announced 31 initiatives in its response to the Hogan Review and we have already, less than 10 months later, implemented 24 of them," Ms Bishop said.

"We are continuing to work closely in partnership with aged care providers, staff and

representatives of residents on the remaining seven initiatives, and on the necessary further reforms of the aged care sector.

"Together we are realising our vision for a world class aged care sector, the delivers high quality, affordable and accessible services to meet the individual needs and choices of older Australians."

Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289