- The Federal Government will invest over $1 billion in extra funding into the aged care sector, most of which will help release another 10,000 home care packages
- The new government-funded home care packages will cost $850 million and come in addition to the $1.6 billion home care package commitment from the October budget
- This comes not long after the Federal health department revealed that over 30,000 Australians had died before receiving home care packages over the past three years
- On top of the home care funding, the Morrison Government will invest over $180 million into more support measures for elderly Australians
- The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is slated to give its final report on February 26, 2021
The Federal Government will invest over $1 billion in extra funding into the aged care sector, most of which will help release another 10,000 home care packages.
The new government-funded home care packages will cost roughly $850 million and come in addition to the $1.6 billion commitment to fund 23,000 packages announced in the October budget.
This all comes ahead of the final report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, slated for February 2021. The commission was launched in September 2018 to assess the quality of residential and in-home care for elderly Australians.
In particular, the Royal Commission is investigating how well aged care services meet peoples’ needs, mistreatment and all forms of abuse in aged care homes, how to give Australians more control and more choice in relation to their care, and the aged care sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, among more.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the health and wellbeing of older Australians is an “absolute priority” for the Federal Government.
“By providing more support to people at home, we are ensuring that Australians, as they age, have greater choices and their families have greater choices,” the Prime Minister said.
“Our government has continued to increase funding in aged care every year by more than $1 billion, adding thousands of extra home care packages at every opportunity,” he said.
The Morrison Government has bolstered aged care investment significantly over recent years, with more than $21 billion invested into the industry over 2019-2020 compared to the $13.1 billion over 2012-2013.
With the new 10,000 home care packages, this means the government has funded 50,000 total packages for $3.3 billion since the Royal Commission’s interim report at the end of October 2019.
The news comes not long after the Federal health department revealed in September that over 30,000 Australians had died before receiving home care packages over the past three years — even though they had been approved for the package.
Over 100,000 Australians are on the home care waiting list.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said this latest investment from the government will help Australians live at home for longer.
“It’s an important measure that can be instrumental to overall health and wellbeing and offer reassurance to families that their loved one is receiving appropriate care,” Minister Hunt said.
On top of the $850 million for the home care packages, the Morrison government will also inject over $180 million to increase access to health services and improved mental health care, to support chronic disease management plans, to provide access to Medicare-subsidies psychological services, and more.
In response to the Royal Commission’s interim report in 2019, the Morrison government said elderly Australians clearly needed more support.
“The Royal Commission’s interim report is clear — as a country, the government, the Aged Care Sector and the entire Australian community, we can and must do better in providing improved support for our older Australians,” the Prime Minister said at the time.
The final report from the Royal Commission is expected to be released by February 26, 2021.