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National health reforms a prescription for poor health in aged care
April 21, 2010
The Campaign for Care of Older Australians (CCOA) is concerned that the Federal Government and members of COAG have not started the process to address fundamental reforms needed in aged care.
“The Prime Minister has been at pains to stress that the national health reforms were a once in a generation opportunity to deliver better health and hospitals for all Australians,” CCOA said.
“Many of the initiatives agreed to by COAG will contribute to improved health and services for older people and must be applauded.
“However, from yesterday’s meeting it seems that older Australians will continue to receive the same medicine delivered by an ailing system, except that it’s now to be entirely funded by the Federal Government.
“It is unclear how aged care will be delivered differently under this plan. For example, how viable will the extra beds be if the costs of care are not addressed?
“In August last year the Prime Minister promised a Productivity Commission inquiry into aged care. Our industry welcomed the inquiry as a means of developing a final blueprint for an aged care system which can operate efficiently to provide access and choice for older Australians, within a sustainable system.
“As we await the terms of reference, it is important to ask if the inquiry will investigate assuring easy access to sub acute and primary care? Will it consider asking people to pay for their care? Will it look at making sure we meet the needs of older people on the margins of society?
“Aged care needs the right medicine to make it well. To ensure real reform CCOA wants to work in partnership with all levels of Government. We look forward to being part of part of the conversation and contributing to the Productivity Commission inquiry.”