Aged care budget needs to do better
The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has welcomed some new initiatives in the aged care sector but is disappointed in other budget measures announced last Tuesday.

ACN welcomes the increase of $102 million over four years in the viability supplement to address the higher cost pressures incurred by rural and remote aged care services, and is very pleased to see the additional $136 million over four years to strengthen the operation of MyAgedCare.

“It is important to have easy and timely access to reliable aged care information and effective assessment and referral arrangements are critical to the effectiveness of aged care services”, said Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward, CEO of the Australian College of Nursing.

ACN is disappointed that nursing and personal care funding in residential care will be reduced by a further $1.2 billion over the next four years, mainly by halving the indexation rate for the Complex Health Care Domain of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

“While the Government may have had difficult choices to make in regard to cutting the ACFI due to projections of unsustainable expenditure in aged care, this budget decision suggests the funding tool is flawed and needs an overhaul to ensure it leads to quality outcomes for residents. The current model does not reward the very things that promote quality of life especially for resident using Complex Health Care component of ACFI”, said Adjunct Professor Ward.

ACN is  also disappointed there was no substantial commitment to the implementation of any aspect of the Aged Care Roadmap, prepared by the Government’s Aged Care Sector Committee, which had identified the steps required to enable a phased transition to a consumer-­‐driven, market-­‐based and sustainable aged care system so that people, can access aged care where and when they need it.