Hopes $106m will be enough
Will a federal pledge for funding address the aged-care workforce issues highlighted in regional care facilities?
A RECENT announcement of an additional $106 million for the aged care system is a much-needed boost for a sector that has been neglected for far too long.
But, according to AMA president Dr Tony Bartone, it does not address the urgent workforce challenges facing the sector.
The Federal Government pledged an extra $16 million for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, $40 million to support services in regional, rural, and remote areas, and $50 million to support residential aged care providers and their staff to improve quality and standards of care.
“Older Australians are among our most vulnerable people, and they deserve the best care possible.
“Too many residential aged care facilities are relying on lesser-trained personal care assistants instead of registered nurses to deliver care.”
While the organisation welcomes the funding, Dr Bartone expressed concern about the delayed response of action from the government. However, the step forward is imperative to ensuring safe and equitable care is given elderly patients.
“The AMA has long been advocating for the introduction of an independent Aged Care Commission that provides a clear, well-communicated, governance hierarchy that brings leadership and accountability to the aged care system,” he said.
“We are pleased that the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will receive a further $16 million to do its job of policing quality and supporting our elderly citizens should the system fail them.”
However the AMA still recognises the problems facing the elderly living in regional or rural parts of Australia.
Dr Bartone said appropriate support services and facilities needed to be provided at a minimal cost to these often struggling residents.
“Aged care in regional, rural, and remote areas presents a unique set of challenges, compared to metropolitan areas.
“The AMA Position Statement on Resourcing Aged Care called for more resources to improve infrastructure in these areas so that older people do not have to travel long distances to receive appropriate care, and this additional funding will help.
WHO CARES? Older Australians deserve the best support and care possible.