Aged care providers have welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s commitment to work with the sector to realise significant system improvements, in particular a commitment to fund pay increases for a dedicated and exhausted workforce and to increase minutes of care and nursing coverage.
The critical issue will be adequately resourcing these changes and ensuring that the additional nurses and care workers that will be needed are available. With staff leaving the sector and providers in deficit, urgent action is needed.
The sector welcomes additional measures for accountability and transparency. Most providers have been spending more on care than they receive from government for the last few years.
While the announcement falls short of providing the resources the Royal Commission said are required for a high quality and sustainable system into the future, in particular with the home care system, the announcement is a significant step forward if the resources are provided to fund these improvements.
Aged care providers are now calling on the government and all political parties to match or improve on Labor’s commitment.
Aged care isn’t a party-political issue or a matter of ideology. We know that all Australians want the highest possible care for older Australians. What is required now is political will and commitment to resource the system older Australians deserve.
Aged care providers will work with whoever forms the next government to ensure major reforms are implemented as soon as possible.