Funds blow for aged care

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

PLANS for a nurs­ing home in Moss­man have suf­fered a blow with the re­jec­tion of an ap­pli­ca­tion for fund­ing from the Com­mon­wealth.

The Moss­man District Nurs­ing Home In­cor­po­rated along with the Sal­va­tion Army ap­plied for Com­mon­wealth fund­ing for a cap­i­tal grant and a zero-in­ter­est loan last month but were un­suc­cess­ful.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the Sal­va­tion Army’s Aged Care Plus Sharon Cal­lis­ter said the ap­pli­ca­tion process fol­lowed the aged care ap­proval round re­leased by the Com­mon­wealth ev­ery 12 months.

“The Govern­ment had $58.5 mil­lion avail­able for the whole coun­try for cap­i­tal grants and the ap­pli­ca­tions well ex­ceeded what was avail­able,” she said.

“The Depart­ment of Age­ing and Health is con­duct­ing a for­mal re­view and giv­ing feed­back in the next three months and it will be our first for­mal op­por­tu­nity to get some additional in­for­ma­tion.

“It’s fair to say the MDNHI and the Sal­va­tion Army are all very up­set and dis­ap­pointed but we are keen to meet for­mally to get feed­back on why so we can ap­prove our ap­pli­ca­tion next time.”

This re­jec­tion has put the plans on hold for a high-care fa­cil­ity and gen­eral low-care nurs­ing home in Moss­man.

Last Au­gust, Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil ap­proved the divi­sion of the land for the Sal­va­tion Army to build the high-care fa­cil­ity, sub­ject to cer­tain con­di­tions in­clud­ing get­ting the nec­es­sary ap­provals and fund­ing.

“We made it quite clear in our ap­pli­ca­tion that we do need Govern­ment fund­ing for this,” Ms Cal­lis­ter said.

“An in­quiry into aged care in Aus­tralia in the last 12 months from the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion came up with 58 rec­om­men­da­tions with key changes.

“The aged care in­dus­try with providers and po­ten­tial clients is now wait­ing for a Govern­ment de­ci­sion on those rec­om­men­da­tions so I think that’s go­ing to be at the Govern­ment fore­front now, which rec­om­men­da­tions they’re go­ing to ac­cept.

“And from there I would be look­ing to­wards the Govern­ment to ad­vise what they’re go­ing to be do­ing on the next aged care ap­provals round.”

The process may be lengthy but the MDNHI and the Sal­va­tion Army are de­ter­mined to find out what went wrong with their ap­pli­ca­tion and im­prove it for the next round of fund­ing, when­ever that might be.

“I be­lieve that once we got all the in­for­ma­tion we will be in a much stronger po­si­tion and we’re all in­cred­i­bly ex­cited about pro­vid­ing this nurs­ing home and we want to do it the right way,” Ms Cal­lis­ter said.

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