Aged care review is welcomed by industry

12 November, 2009

The recent announcement by Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot confirming a 2007 election commitment that the Government would undertake a thorough review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) after eighteen months of operation was welcomed by the aged care industry.

Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) National CEO, Rod Young, said "the Terms of Reference the Minister has set are sufficiently wide to allow the review to look at all aspects of the new funding tool's operations and the impact it is having on the choices for consumers and aged care provider viability.

"For instance, some people assessed as requiring care by the Government's Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) cannot gain entry into care because the government subsidy they would attract is as low as $6.80 and less or in some cases, people assessed as requiring care are not being admitted due to zero funding under the ACFI," said Mr Young.

"ACAA does not believe any aged care provider can realistically provide quality care, accommodation, food, laundry and support for $6.80 per day," said Rod Young.

"This is one example of why the industry welcomes the review. It is essential that this type of unintended consequence of the 2008 reforms is remedied in fairness to consumers and providers," Mr Young said.

"ACAA is expecting that the process of consultation surrounding the review will be open and transparent as the industry now has a great deal of knowledge about the operation of the ACFI and the Department of Health and Ageing holding substantial data on ACFI outcomes. Both industry and Department need to be able to set in train a dialogue to ensure that these two information streams inform the review process.

"Government and industry both want an industry adequately funded to support quality services for our clients. An open and transparent process surrounding the ACFI Review is the process most likely to achieve that outcome," Rod Young said.

Source: Aged Care Association Australia