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The facts about nursing homes



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L401[71 _:O M .4PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESJ 7. 1 " ' ' I '

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FEDERAL MEMBER FOR JAGAJAGA 149 Burgundy St. Heidelberg Victoria 3084 Phone 9459 1411 Fax 9457 5721 Shadow Minister for Social Security, the Aged and Family Services

MEDIA RELEASE

THE FACTS ABOUT NURSING HOME FEES.

From 1 March, all older Australians needing nursing home care have faced a new extra daily fee.

"The nursing home receives not one cent of benefit from the fee. It is all clawed back by the Government," Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Social security and the Aged said.

However, under repeated questioning about the allocation of the 'extra daily fee' in the House today, the Minister, Warwick Smith, consistently claimed that the fees went to nursing homes, not to the Government.

Mr Smith said:

"The money raised by daily fees goes to nursing homes, it doesn't go to the Government. It goes to upgrading nursing homes...

"The accommodation charges go to capital upgrading... and the daily fees go directly to nursing homes ... " (see attached)

However, the Catholic, Anglican, Baptist and Uniting Churches say:

"the extra daily fees do not contribute any extra money to the upkeep of the (nursing) homes, the care of the residents or the future development of the services. " (see attached)

The 'extra daily fee', also known as the 'additional daily fee', or 'income tested charge' is levied at the rate of 25 cents in the dollar for all income earned above the pension free area — up to an extra fee of $36.90 a day.

Once the level of extra fee to be paid is determined, the Government then reduces the care subsidy paid to the nursing home for that resident accordingly.

"It is time the Minister put the money from the extra daily fee to where he claims it is going — into nursing home care for older Australians," Jenny Macklin said.

9 March 1998 For additional comment: Gary Moorhead 6277 2036 (018) 550 877

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