No cheap fix on offer for Aged Care crisis: Greens


No cheap fix on offer for Aged Care crisis: Greens

“The Australian Greens are extremely concerned that neither of the major
parties are showing any evidence of taking the emerging crisis in aged
care seriously,” said Greens Health and Ageing spokesperson Senator
Rachel Siewert today.

“Tony Abbott’s message that, he admits there is a serious problem, but
cannot commit to the kind of funding that is needed to fix it is a very
short-sighted one,” said Senator Siewert.

“He is missing the point that when aged care facilities go broke and
shut their doors it will be much more expensive to care for residents in
our hospital system – to the tune of around five times the cost per bed.

“The cost of failure will be much, much higher.

“The problem is not just about money, and sensible reforms to the system
can help us deliver quality care more effectively in the longer term,
but if either the Coalition or the government think that they can fix
the current crisis- let alone get prepared for the significant increase
in demand of coming decades, without investing significant resources-
then they are clearly deluded.

“Over the last decade, successive Federal Governments have presided over
a widening gap between the costs of providing care to Australia’s ageing
population and the level of funding being invested in the sector.

“The Greens are calling for the immediate reinstatement of the 1.9% CAP
indexation as an immediate short-term fix, and a commitment to
comprehensive aged care reform.

“Nothing coming from the Government or Coalition gives us any hope that
this is about to occur.
“Further investment is needed immediately for improved wages and
conditions for care staff to address the crisis in skilled care workers,
to begin building the aged care services and facilities of the future
and of course meet the shortfall in funding for the provision of care.

“In the longer term a shift to a greater focus on keeping ageing
Australians healthy and mobile and providing them and their families
with the kind of support they need to stay in their homes and
communities and maintain their mobility and quality of life for longer
can help to reduce the cost of providing residential care.

“We need to act now on aged care reform so we can build the quality aged
care system of the future that all Australians deserve,” concluded
Senator Siewert.

The Greens released a comprehensive discussion paper on aged care reform
earlier this year, which has been very well received, and plan to
release a final policy position based on public feedback and submissions

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