Aged care reform

The Federal Government is standing up to take responsibility for providing a streamlined, and effective aged care system for Australians but have they bitten off more than they can chew?

Firstly, what is aged care? Aged care is the provision of personal and health care to older Australian to facilitate independence, good health and wellbeing. In Australia, it is provided through two main programs; residential aged care and community care at home.

Aged care services have suffered over the years due to fragmentation of who provides what. These split responsibilities have lead to:
·tsimilar services being provided by different programs with different costs and eligibility requirements
·tconfusion over what services are available and how to access them.

As part of the proposed Health Care Reforms, responsibility for aged care will shift from states and territories to the commonwealth, with an associated investment of $739 million. The proposed will:
·tallow seamless transition of clients from one level of care to another as needs change
·tsimplified access to services
·tresponsibility for funding and regulations lies with one government and therefore clearer accountability to communities.

The Federal Government hopes to ensure that the needs of a growing older population can be evaluated and catered for by carrying out a major inquiry into the aged care system, to be undertaken by the Productivity Commission. An integrated system will also allow tighter regulations and enforcement of legislation.

At this moment, it is not known if this funding is contingent on all states and territories agreeing to the new health care reforms.

To find out more about the proposed reforms, click YOURLifeChoices simple shortcut to the Department of Health and Ageing.

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