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Aged care Budget starts filling gaps and setting a path to reform

Date published: Tuesday 8 May 2018

Category(ies): Media release

The peak body for Baptist aged care organisations, Baptist Care Australia, welcomes the Government's Budget commitments to improve Australia's growing aged care system.

"We know from the lengthy waiting list for home care packages that our aged care system is under pressure," said Executive Director, Marcia Balzer.

"With the rapid growth in the numbers of older Australians that we expect in coming years, that pressure is expected to intensify.

"Baptist Care Australia congratulates the Government for prioritising the needs of older people in the 2018-19 Budget, with some important announcements to fill current gaps and set the pathway towards the larger reforms we need in coming years.

"We welcome announcements of a substantial investment in new high level home care packages, and a start towards extra support for services in regional, rural and remote areas.

"There's critically-important new funding to support culturally-appropriate aged care services in remote Indigenous communities.

"Another funding injection to improve My Aged Care is much needed and very welcome, as is funding for navigators to help people access the care they need.

"Other important funding gaps are being addressed to provide palliative care, mental health and dementia services.

"It's encouraging to see the Government take steps towards further reforms of residential, home care and needs assessment that will be critical if we are to meet the future demand for aged care services.

"However, we're going to need some major reforms to meet this demand, and these are not going to be quick fixes. They're going to take a lot of time to establish, and we need to start working on them now before future problems become current problems.

"Finding a functional model for funding sustainability is going to be critical as government funding is not going to be sufficient to meet future demand.

"Baptist Care Australia hopes that the next Federal Budget will continue to increase the importance of aged care in our list of national priorities. Current and future older Australians are relying on it," Ms Balzer said.