Details needed on aged care

Older Australians have welcomed aspects of the government's plans for the aged care system but also identified some key missing elements.

Commenting on the Federal government's $739 million reforms announced on Monday, National Seniors chief executive Michael O'Neill welcomed the federal takeover of the aged care system.

“Hopefully this will end duplication and waste of resources and ensure greater accountability and performance than the existing model of state and commonwealth involvement,’’ he said.

“We also welcome the proposed one-stop shop approach to assist people who enter the complex maze that is aged care services and regulation. It is extraordinarily difficult and presents a challenge to people at a time when they have the stresses of assisting a loved one into a new phase of their life,’’ he said.

“The increased funding to encourage GPs to provide more services in aged care homes is also welcome. Nationals Seniors has long been calling for improved access to GPs in aged care homes.”

But O'Neill cautioned on the government's announcement of extra aged care places.

“One of our concerns is the lack of detail on how the government will deliver the 2,500 extra aged care places it has promised. The government admits there is a lack of providers applying to supply aged care places that it has already made available,’’ he said.

“How will this new scheme be any more successful in getting providers to build these promised new places?”

National Seniors is also concerned by the absence of a specific initiative to ensure that wage levels in aged care are competitive and able to attract the quality staff needed by the system and rightfully expected by consumers and their families.

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