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More nursing home beds on the way: ACAR process begins.



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THE HON JUSTINE ELLIOT MP

Minister for Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

18 September 2008

MORE NURSING HOME BEDS ON THE WAY - ACAR PROCESS BEGINS

The Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot today announced details on the 2008-2009 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) to create more nursing home beds and community care places.

This is about building on the more than 170,000 nursing beds for older Australians.

“It is also about meeting the challenges of our nation’s ageing population and creating beds where they are needed for our frail and aged Australians,” Mrs Elliot said.

Australians have the second longest life expectancy in the world and an Australian born today can expect to reach 81.4 years of age.

Currently, there are some 2.8 million Australians - about 13 per cent of the population - aged 65 and over. This number is expected to triple over the next 40 years. The number of people aged over 80 years will almost double in the next 20 years.

In response to the ageing population, the Australian Government is responding with record funding. Over the next four years, the Australian Government is investing more than $40 billion; $28.6 billion of that on nursing homes alone.

No Australian Government is investing more into aged and community care.

2008-2009 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) timetable Official advertisements appear in selected newspapers on November 8, 2008 Applications from aged care providers close on December 19, 2008 Assessments of the applications - January to May 2009 Announcement of the ACAR - June 2009 Stage Two of Zero Real Interest Loans and Associated Places Round - late-2009

Mrs Elliot said now that Stage One of the highly successful $150 million Zero Real Interest Loans Round have been announced, it was time the Department of Health and Ageing begin work on the 2008-2009 ACAR process to create more nursing home beds and community places.

Yesterday (September 17) in Federal Parliament, Mrs Elliot announced the creation of 1,455 beds and community care packages in areas where they are needed.

Details: (02) 6277 7280 or Kathryn Conroy 0448 249 447