UnitingCare welcomes the announcements in the MYEFO which recognise the urgent need for services to support older people in the Australian community.
Aged care providers are preparing to participate in a national conversation about the future of aged care, triggered by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. It is positive to see action on recommendations already before the government from previous inquiries and reports into many aspects of the sector. We congratulate the government for continuing that work.
It is important however that ageing Australians are not held hostage to politics. UnitingCare Australia calls on both sides of politics to commit to systematic change that gives all Australians equitable access to basic care in the home when they need. It makes sense. These services allow older people the opportunity for independence and choice as they age.
Australia has just one opportunity to create a sustainable aged care system in which the Aged Care sector is an engine of huge workforce growth, which will create jobs, keep unemployment levels low and generate tax and other revenue for the Australian economy.
UnitingCare Australia is looking beyond the headlines to the signs of positive change and they are appearing: extra support to ensure aged care residents can see a GP, funding for mobile Xrays to reduce the need for frail elderly people to visit hospital, supplements to support older people at risk of homelessness, and an Elder Abuse Hotline.
These are the signs that the government is hearing what is needed to give all Australians a sustainable aged care sector that embraces flexibility and innovation, and that will deliver tangible benefits to older people, their carers and families.