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Aged Care Minister visits far North Coast after record aged care funding boost.



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Media Release Bronwyn Bishop Minister for Aged Care

14 February 2001

AGED CARE MINISTER VISITS FAR NORTH COAST AFTER RECORD AGED CARE FUNDING BOOST The Minister for Aged Care, Bronwyn Bishop, and the Member for Richmond and Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today visited local aged care homes following the announcement last month of 251 new aged care places for the Richmond electorate, of which Community Aged Care Packages are based in Richmond and serviced across the electorate border. These places are Residential Aged Care places and Community Aged Care places, worth $2.7 million in annual recurrent funding and $77,629 in capital.

These places are in addition to the $35 million already being spent in Richmond on aged care annually.

Mrs Bishop said the Commonwealth Government was committed to ensuring that frail older Australians have reasonable access to residential and care services at home to meet their individual needs.

For this reason 44% of all places in the year 2000 round were allocated to rural and regional Australia and 74% of all capital has gone to rural and regional Australia. The year 2000 round was the largest ever allocation of places, which was necessary to make up for the 10,000 shortfall left by the previous Labor Government's cut back and identified by the Auditor General. This round also provided for growth.

"As part of the largest ever aged care funding allocation Australia-wide, it demonstrates the Howard Government's commitment to building a sustainable, accessible aged care system that focuses on quality of care for those individuals that require it."

"The Government's commitment to older Australians in the far north coast of NSW and Richmond in particular extends beyond the provision of aged care places." she said.

"The Federal Government also provides some $1.8 million for local respite care services, dementia support, the Community Visitors Scheme for socially isolated seniors and the Aged Care Assessment Team Program in Richmond," she said.

"In addition the Commonwealth Government provides 60 cents in every dollar spent for Home and Community Care (HACC) being $1.75 million to assist frail older Australians in the Richmond electorate remain living independently in their own homes where they want to be."

Mrs Bishop added that residential aged care expenditure across Australia had increased from $2.5 billion in 1995-1996 to $3.9 billion in the year 2000-2001 - an increase of $1.4 billion.

Media Contact: Damien Jones 0409 147 247, 02 9972 2355

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©Commonwealth of Australia, 2001

Published on Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care web site 21 February 2001 Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care URL: http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2001/bb/bb01010.htm