National Seniors Australia has welcomed the federal government’s consultation paper proposing a radical overhaul of residential aged care funding in Australia.
CEO of the advocacy group for older Australians, Professor John McCallum, congratulated the government for continuing to make progress on the residential aged care funding model ahead of the completion of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The paper was released on Friday by Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt and builds on a major study completed by the Australian Health Services Research Institute (ASRI) at the University of Wollongong.
The consultation paper recommends a full overhaul of the residential aged care funding model, with less paperwork for nursing and aged care staff, independent assessors to determine funding allocations based on need, and incentives for aged care providers to prevent chronic health conditions and cognitive decline where possible.
National Seniors also welcomed the approach presented in the consultation paper to separate funding from care planning.
“All these are much needed developments,” said Professor McCallum. “National Seniors will be making a full submission to the consultation and we are pleased the government has committed to comprehensively fixing the residential aged care funding model.
“National Seniors will consider the proposed model in detail over coming months, however, we welcome the needs-based approach and incentives for the provision of quality care.
“The introduction of external assessors to determine individual funding based on capacity will ensure nurses and aged care staff can get on with the job of looking after residents, rather than being tied up with paperwork.”
Professor McCallum urged the government and opposition to commit to a similar review of home care funding ahead of the forthcoming federal election.