Sta­bil­ity is needed

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Westernopinion -

AT a time of in­creas­ing demand for res­i­den­tial aged-care ser­vices, the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment is strip­ping $1.8 bil­lion of fund­ing from the aged care bud­get.

These bud­get cuts un­fairly tar­get ser­vices to the frailest older Aus­tralians, suf­fer­ing from chronic pain, de­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease, se­vere arthri­tis and com­plex wounds.

Across Aus­tralia, providers who em­ploy health pro­fes­sion­als un­der cur­rent fund­ing ar­range­ments are now find­ing it dif­fi­cult to main­tain their staffing lev­els into the fu­ture, given the im­pend­ing cuts to fund­ing.

As such, these un­ac­cept­able fund­ing cuts are jeop­ar­dis­ing the de­liv­ery of high-qual­ity aged care.

The planned cuts come at a time when the Gov­ern­ment is re­view­ing both the im­pact of aged-care sec­tor re­forms, and the tool that is cur­rently used in res­i­den­tial aged-care fa­cil­i­ties to al­lo­cate fund­ing aligned to the spe­cific care needs of each res­i­dent.

These re­views will no doubt her­ald sig­nif­i­cant changes for aged-care fund­ing.

So it does not make sense to start mak­ing ad hoc changes to aged care fund­ing mech­a­nisms now while these re­views are un­der way.

Lead­ing Age Ser­vices Aus­tralia (LASA), the voice of aged care, ac­tively op­poses the im­ple­men­ta­tion of these re­cent fund­ing cuts and the jus­ti­fi­ca­tions to cut more than $3 bil­lion from aged care fund­ing over the last three years.

The industry is cry­ing out for pol­icy and fund­ing sta­bil­ity.

LASA urges the Gov­ern­ment to put a stop to aged care cuts and work with the sec­tor to de­velop a sus­tain­able fund­ing strat­egy.

To­gether, we can cre­ate a sus­tain­able aged ser­vices industry de­liv­er­ing af­ford­able, ac­ces­si­ble, qual­ity care and ser­vices for older Aus­tralians. Sean Rooney, Chief ex­ec­u­tive, Lead­ing Age Ser­vices Aus­tralia.

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