The UnitingCare Aged Care Network met in Melbourne today and agreed on key priorities to modernise and future-proof the funding of Australia’s aged care system to ensure older Australians can access high quality care when and where they need it.
The Royal Commission identified the chronic underfunding of aged care in Australia. Older people deserve to access high quality care now and in the future, and additional funding is required to do this.
The UnitingCare Aged Care Network recommends a mixed financing model comprised of three revenue streams to increase funding of the aged care system:
- Increased consumer contributions based on means to pay
- A targeted aged care levy
- Funding from general taxation revenue
The meeting considered the proposed funding principles released by the Australian Government’s Aged Care Taskforce, the current issues and opportunities for providers, as well as practical proposals to deliver high quality care for older Australians now and into the future.
Patricia Sparrow, Chief Executive Officer of Council on the Ageing, also addressed the meeting.
UnitingCare Network Leaders agreed on overarching sustainability principles, in addition to specific recommendations in response to the Aged Care Taskforce consultation.
The UnitingCare Network believes that all Australians should experience compassion and dignity as they age regardless of their means. Older Australians, irrespective of where they live, must be able to access high quality care and support services, be it in their home or in an aged care home.
A key concern of the Network was to ensure that all older Australians have access to high quality care, especially the most vulnerable.
The Network agreed overarching principles to inform a financially sustainable aged care system:
- Everyone deserves care
- Those who can afford to pay more, should
- A strong safety net is needed
The Network will put together an Aged Care Financial Sustainability Policy Paper for release in November.
The UnitingCare Aged Care Network is the largest not-for-profit aged care provider nationally.