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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

OPAN applauds Budget’s $3 billion backing of aged care reform

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has today welcomed the Federal Government Budet’s $3.9 billion investment towards aged care reform.

“We are delighted to see the Australian Government not only follow through on its $2.5 billion election promises but exceed them,” OPAN CEO, Craig Gear said.

“This budget funds the important reforms that are urgently needed to deliver better aged care services to older Australians, including 24/7 nursing, increased care minutes and better food in residential aged care.”

Mr Gear said the reforms, which build upon previous investments, must be accompanied by measures to address the significant issues across in-home care, which often result in older people entering residential aged care prematurely.

“A flexible, appropriately funded Support at Home program, developed in consultation with older people, is crucial. Interim measures must be put in place to ensure older people don’t fall through the gaps,” he said.

“We are thrilled to see the $23.1 million the government has allocated to support the implementation of this important reform includes consultation with the people who will use it.”

OPAN also welcomed funding of a dedicated Aged Care Complaints Commissioner in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

“A responsive regulation system that addresses older people’s concerns and complaints in a timely and proportionate manner is a key driver of quality care,” said Mr Gear.

“The government’s additional funding for an Inspector General of Aged Care will address the end-to-end issues in aged care and looking to longer-term system improvement.”

The Network also supports the government’s continued commitment to funding higher wages for aged care staff as a result of the case currently before the Fair Work Commission.

“Older people have the right to high-quality aged care – you only get that with a well-paid and a well-trained workforce,” said Mr Gear.

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