In this issue:
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Second Draft Discussion Paper regarding the Accommodation Pricing Guidelines, Significant Refurbishment of residential Agedcare Services, Fees and Payments Principles 2013, Subsidy Principles 2013, Aged Care (Maximum Accommodation Payment
Amount) Determination 2013
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Dementia and Veterans’ Supplements in Aged Care Consultation Paper of April 2013. We welcome the recognition of the additional care needs of people with dementia and mental health issues receiving support from residential and home care services. The following comments and questions of clarification are provided on the Consultation Paper.
UnitingCare Australia supports long the awaited aged care legislation tabled in the Federal Parliament today and encourages all parties and Independents to also get behind the bills.
UnitingCare Australia believes that every older Australian should be able to live well, as part of their community, with dignity and independence, and in a place of their choosing.
In the new environment of consumer-led and demand-driven aged care, older Australians should have access to the appropriate and affordable support and care services that they need, when they need them.
Australia’s Aged Care sector is in the national spotlight. The Aged Care Royal Commission is examining the sector, scrutinising its failings in order to create a sustainable model offering high quality alternatives for all.
Yes, there will be uncomfortable moments ahead for providers, but we do not shy away from this high-level examination.
Most importantly, the next 20 years provide an opportunity to embrace a system that better meets community expectations.
Real change takes time, vision and courage combined with resources and tangible, realistic actions. Currently Australia has no cohesive policy to deal with an ageing population. This needs to change.
As one of the most prosperous nations in the world, we can afford an increased investment in Aged Care.
Doing nothing is not an option.
UnitingCare looks forward to working with the Australian Government to deliver a robust aged care workforce strategy that will underpin a sustainable future for the aged care industry. Key areas that must be addressed include:
1. training and skills development, to support entry and transition to the aged care sector, as well as new skills to meet the needs of an innovative and responsive industry;
2. raising the profile of the sector as a potential employer, and ensuring that conditions and career pathways reflect the importance of aged care to community wellbeing; and
3. research and development in the sector, to ensure quality and efficiency outcomes and to capture the potential of aged care, as a growing service industry, to contribute socially and economically.
UnitingCare Australia supports the improvement of the collection of financial data from aged care providers if it is carried out in an open, fair, transparent and accountable manner by governments.
The data collection should not impose significant additional administrative burdens on providers and should seek to streamline data collection where possible. As a first principle data already available to the Commonwealth should be utilised before imposing further red tape on providers.
A comprehensive cost of care study is supported but consideration should be given to constructing this in a way that minimises the workload for providers and provides timely and accurate information (such as through a 3 month sample).
Data collection must be consistent with the requirements of other bodies (the ACNC, ASIC, Accounting Standards and the Aged Care Legislation). Necessary changes are supported provided that they ultimately benefit consumer and the viability of services that support older people.