Australian Greens spokesperson on ageing, Senator Rachel Siewert says it is encouraging that the Government has listened to calls for aged care reform and announced important initiatives to improve care for older Australians.
“The Prime Minister today rightly acknowledged that our current system has problems that need to be addressed,” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on ageing.
“It is good to see the Government paying this issue the attention it deserves. They’ve clearly taken on board some of the messages coming from the Productivity Commission and organisations such as the National Aged Care Alliance.
“Nearly doubling the number of home care packages is an important announcement that reflects the shifting attitudes to how we deliver quality care for ageing Australians.
“Home care is an important component of an effective aged care system and helps people to remain in their own homes and in familiar surroundings for longer periods of time. The contribution of this to a good quality of life cannot be underestimated.
“I am particularly pleased to see the allocation of $1.2 billion to address employment problems in the aged care workforce. In addition to increasing wages and employment levels, this will also help staff retention and will appropriately reward the people working so hard in incredibly important roles.
“A number of elements of this plan are welcome, including the single gateway to collate information for older Australians and their families. I hope an investment such as this will allow people to have a better understanding of the system and more control over their care decisions.
“The investments in dementia are also essential, especially in areas such as early intervention which is important from a treatment and care perspective.
"I am also glad to see that the government is tackling rorting in the system, but I will be very disappointed if they use this as an excuse to pull money out of some services, shift it around and then announce it as a win, when we very clearly require an injection of new money.
“In the longer term, these announcement will improve aged care for Australians, but that doesn’t alter the fact that providers are struggling today and need immediate help.
“Many of the necessary pieces for long term reform are here, and the Greens are looking forward to continued productive talks with the Government, older Australians and aged care providers as the details of this announcement are worked through,” Senator Siewert concluded.