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Aged care committee aims to improve consultation with sector

01 July, 2008

Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot has announced a revamped industry advisory committee to improve consultation with the sector, workforce and consumers representing residents and older Australians.

The new Ageing Consultative Committee includes commercial and not-for-profit aged care providers, consumer groups, professional and union bodies.

The ACC would meet for the first time this week (Thursday June 26, 2008) and would be chaired by Andrew Stuart, First Assistant Secretary, Ageing And Aged Care Division, Department of Health and Ageing.

Elliot said this is about preparing for Australia’s ageing population and the challenges of the 21st century.

Australians now have the second longest life expectancy in the world – after the Japanese. (Source: Australia’s Health 2008: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

“This is wonderful news, but we have to work together on these challenges,” Elliot said.

The Australian Government is responding by over the next four years by investing more than $40 billion into aged and community care - $28.6 billion of that on residential care alone.

In addition, Elliot outlined changes to other advisory groups to give them a sharper focus.

The Ageing Consultative Committee (ACC) merges the former Aged Care Advisory Committee and the Community Care Advisory Committee – reducing duplication. It would provide advice directly to Elliot.

“The establishment of the ACC along with changes to other advisory groups will help ensure stakeholders can provide me with relevant advice regarding the Government’s new aged care direction,” Elliot said.

“The Government wants to hear the views of the aged care industry, consumers and the dedicated workforce in our nation’s 2,870 nursing homes.”

The ACC will focus efficiency in bed allocation process, the review of aged care planning ratios, proposed changes to the regulatory framework and the better integration of community and residential care.

There will also be changes to other advisory groups, to give them a current focus, as many were established to advise on matters that have now been implemented.

For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280

Other advisory committee changes include:
  • The Aged Care Workforce Committee has been reviewed, with new terms of reference and a smaller, more expert membership.
  • As announced in March, the Aged Care Funding Instrument Reference Group will continue beyond 20 March 2008 as a consultative mechanism, and to assist in the review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument which will start in 18 months; and
  • Transactions and Technology Reference Group will now take responsibility for consulting with Medicare Australia and industry on electronic payments in aged care.

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