Major shake-up of aged care system needed

September 16, 2009 9:01 am

 One of Australia’Ÿs largest not-for-profit aged care groups today called on the Prime Minister to dump the Howard Government’Ÿs aged care system and commit to a radical rewrite of the Federal Government’Ÿs aged care rules. Catholic Health Australia (CHA), which oversees the accommodation of one in ten of all older people living in aged care accommodation, has renewed calls for aged care reform following today’Ÿs release of a damning Productivity Commission report on regulatory burdens in aged care. “We’Ÿve known for some time that older Australians are being adversely impacted by out of date aged care regulation. In some circumstances the system is constraining older Australians from easy access to quality care,” CHA CEO Martin Laverty said. “Today’Ÿs Productivity Commission report has made it clear that out-of-date government regulation is to blame. The current Government must now commit to scrapping those rules that, in the words of the Productivity Commission, „encroach on the rights of clients and their quality of life’Ÿ.” The Productivity Commission report, the Annual Review of Regulatory Burdens on Business: Social and Economic Infrastructure Services, recommends: 

Removing the restriction on bonds as a source of funding, 
Redesigning the accreditation visits program, 
Increasing choice for aged care consumers by relaxing supply constraints in the provision of aged care services, and 
Providing better information to older people and their families so they can make more meaningful comparisons in choosing an aged care service. 
“CHA has been calling on the Government for some time to undertake the reforms that have now also been proposed by the Productivity Commission,” Mr Laverty said. “With independent experts such as the Productivity Commission now backing the case for change, we look forward to the Government outlining its own plans to ensure Australia has a sustainable aged care system able to provide quality care for all who need it.”