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Budget 2011: Building a sustainable national aged care system

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THE HON MARK BUTLER MP Minister for Mental Health and Ageing



The Gillard Government is committed to the sustainable reform of our aged care system to provide quality care for our older Australians. The Government will provide $55.4 billion for aged care over the next four years from 2011-12.

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, said the Gillard Government had taken a number of steps to improve aged care for older Australians, and to ensure the aged care system was sustainable and responsive to care needs.

“Under our National Health Reforms, we are developing a nationally consistent aged care system, covering basic home care through to nursing homes,’’ Mr Butler said.

And to make sure this reform continues we have tasked the Productivity Commission to develop detailed options for redesigning Australia’s aged care system with their final report due in June.

This year’s Budget will support continued investment by the aged care industry to meet the increasing demand for services in rural and remote areas.

Funding of $16 million will be provided to continue higher payments that support the viability of aged care providers that deliver services in rural and remote areas. The 40 percent increase in the so-called viability supplement, introduced as part of the 2009-10 Budget, will be extended for one year, allowing the Government to consider long-term reform options for the sector.

This funding will extend support for aged care providers to continue to provide support in rural and remote areas, and those that provide services for the homeless and Indigenous Australians. This will benefit more than 300 aged-care providers.

The Budget will also provide funding of $1.1 million to continue the Ambassador for Ageing program.

“The Ambassador for Ageing, Noeline Brown, has made a wonderful contribution to the Australian community by developing a more positive view of ageing and older people,’’ Mr Butler said.

“This funding will enable her to continue her valuable participation in major events that promote the substantial contribution of older people and the importance of productive and healthy ageing.”

This reform will continue as the Productivity Commission continues to develop detailed options for redesigning Australia’s aged care system, with their final report due in June.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Virginia Kim, 0407 415 484