Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has welcomed the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s calls for submissions on the future financing of Australia’s aged care system.
“It is critical to establish an agreed funding system that ensures high-quality services and support for older Australians,” said LASA CEO, Sean Rooney.
“We need fundamental changes including increasing overall financial support for care.
“It is unsustainable for Australia to aim for world-class performance while spending around one per cent of GDP on age services compared to the 1.5 per cent average in other advanced economies.”
The Royal Commission finance consultation paper examines three broad approaches to funding aged care:
- A levy, based on the continued adaptation of taxation methods and co-contributions;
- Social insurance models, involving mandatory contributions to dedicated pooled funds;
- Private insurance and other voluntary arrangements.
The paper notes a significant gap between current funding levels and the expenditure required to meet the needs of an ageing population, plus the implementation of substantial improvements in the quality and safety of care, and ensuring that funding is based on the measured cost of delivering high quality services.
“Aged care funding reform and transparency will translate into better outcomes for the 1.3 million recipients of care and the growing numbers of older Australians, through more staff, better training and even greater responsiveness to their needs,” Mr Rooney said.
“This will contribute to sustaining overall quality of life and also the protection of the fundamental rights for all individuals receiving care, now and into the future.
“As the Royal Commission says, this is an important debate and we encourage the Australian community to engage in this conversation in the interests of improving the quality and safety of care.”
LASA will be seeking feedback from its members, while individuals and organisations are also able to contribute directly to the Royal Commission’s consultation.
The Royal Commission consultation paper can be downloaded here.
Submissions close on Tuesday, 4 August 2020, and can be emailed to FinanceOptions@royalcommission.gov.au