Tuesday, 16 August 2016 14:25

Stop Federal Government Cuts to Aged Care Health Funding #stopthecuts

/**/

The Federal Government is set to cut the Complex Health Care element of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) by $1.2 billion over four years in the 2016-17 Budget, on top of $750 million which was cut in December 2015. Independent modelling suggests the real impact of the cuts will more than $2.5billion.

We want to stop these cuts and work with the Federal Government to develop a more sustainable funding model that will support Australia’s ageing population and does not jeopardise the care of vulnerable older Australians.

What's the impact?

Should the cuts go ahead, funding will be reduced for each newly admitted aged care resident, or those whose needs are reassessed, by an average of $6,655 per year, with a reduction in funding of up to $18,000 for older people with the most complex needs.

Critical health care needs such as wound and skin care, mobility needs, arthritis treatment and end of life care are under direct threat. Aged care services will also be limited in their capacity to deliver the level of care to meet the needs of residents, reducing their wellbeing and quality of life.

The cuts will also place more pressure on the already strained public hospitals as older people may face increased delays accessing residential aged care services.

The Federal Government cuts will be felt in communities all over Australia, however regional and remote aged care facilities are likely to be hit hardest. There is a very real threat that some facilities could be forced to close.

Take Action

UnitingCare is calling for these cuts to be stopped, so the Federal Government and the aged care sector can work together on a sustainable funding model.

We need your help to stop the cuts to aged care:

  • Send your local Member of Parliament an email asking them to stop the cuts.
  • Tell your friends, family and colleagues about the cuts to aged care by clicking on the social media symbols below and posting this page to your site. Use the hashtag #stopthecuts
  • Understand what these cuts will mean for vulnerable and sick older people by reading some real life case studies (below).

Additional Resources

The Uniting Care Aged Care Network commissioned independent modelling by Ansell Strategic that revealed that the cuts were much larger than estimated by the Federal Government – with an impact of more than $2.5 billion over four years.

View the Ansell report here.

Case studies

George (87) and Jane (88) are both residents in UnitingCare aged care services and have complex health needs.

Jane has multiple health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, skin cancer, incontinence and bowel disease. She has had a stroke and suffers pain from a previous fracture.

Jane requires a high level of care, particularly as she suffers from cognitive impairment and the stroke has reduced her ability to manage her personal care. Staff support her with all forms of personal care and manage her continence and mobility. They help Jane to eat and drink and administer her medication.

Jane also receives regular physiotherapy for pain management and staff have to reposition her throughout the day and night to prevent pressure wounds.

If Jane was a new resident after January 2017 or was required to be reassessed after a hospital admission, the level of funding to meet her health care needs would be cut by $50.95 a day or by $18,596 a year.

George has Parkinson’s Disease, prostate cancer, dementia, back fractures, high blood pressure, high levels of pain and is fully incontinent.

Apart from his physical problems, George’s pain, dementia and depression can trigger behaviour that requires constant supervision. He requires assistance with all aspects of personal care and toileting.

George needs a great deal of assistance with mobility due to his high risk of falls. He receives regular physiotherapy and other forms of support for pain management and is on a range of medications.

If George were to be admitted to our care after January 2017 or his needs required to be reassessed, the funding to meet his health care would also be $18, 596 less a year than before the cuts.

Read George and Jane’s full case studies. 

*These case studies are based on current residents but real names have not been used.

Additional case studies (PDF - Updated 30/08/2016)

Bill's story

Helen's story

James's story

Anna's story