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Time for action on aged care funding



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THE HON. JULIE COLLINS MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND MENTAL HEALTH MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN

SENATOR HELEN POLLEY

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE LEADER (TASMANIA) SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR AGEING SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

TIME FOR ACTION ON AGED CARE FUNDING

Labor has today introduced the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Amendment (Review) Bill 2016 into Parliament to deliver an independent review of residential aged care funding.

This fulfils Labor’s promise to amend the legislative review arrangements of the Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms to specifically include a review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

The Turnbull Liberal Government has been so focused on its own internal divisions that it has neglected the needs of older Australians.

Just like when Labor set the agenda with the Living Longer Living Better reforms we are again calling on the Liberals to join Labor in putting the interests of older Australians first.

Over the last two Budgets the Turnbull Liberal Government has delivered an almost $2 billion cut to funding for residential aged care to 2020, but refused to release details around the projected growth or its full modelling for these measures.

The current funding arrangements have become unpredictable and unsustainable and without reform will jeopardise the care outcome for older Australians.

Minister Ley stated in May 2016 that she is “concerned the current ACFI model is too complex and not always clear about what can be claimed”.

The Full Federal Court found ACFI documents are “riddled with ambiguous, uncertain and inconsistent language” and that they should be reviewed.

Major peak bodies including Aged & Community Services Australia, Leading Aged Services Australia and Aged Care Guild, unions and consumer groups support a review.

A recent study into the utility of the ACFI in care planning for the management of dementia found that the current model is not effective in improving care outcomes.

Australian Physiotherapy Association, Allied Health Australia and the Australian Pain Society have all called for urgent changes to ACFI.

The case for review and reform could not be clearer:

David Tune AO has already been announced to lead the legislated review in to the Living Longer Living Better reforms - let’s make this review meaningful and look at residential care funding at the same time.

We call on the Turnbull Liberal Government to support the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Amendment (Review) Bill 2016.

Labor has put the mechanism before Parliament for the Turnbull Liberal Government to show it is serious about the care of older Australians.

MONDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: SIMON MONK 0439 386 462