The Liberal Government will significantly boost support for older Australians with an injection of $106 million to support better facilities, better care and better standards in aged care.
Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said Australia’s tough new aged care cop – the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission – will receive a further $16 million to police quality, boost specialist response teams for complaints, audits and compliance and support consumers when failures occur.
“Older Australians deserve our respect and they should receive the very best care available,” Mr Porter said.
“We are taking action today to introduce legislation into Parliament to establish the new Commission to address known failures in quality regulation for Australia’s aged care system.
“Our message is clear - any organisation or person doing the wrong thing will be found out and sub-standard care will not be tolerated.”
This funding boost builds on the $32.6 million the Liberal Government announced in May for the new Commission and means issues can be highlighted and dealt with quickly under one agency which reports directly to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care.
Mr Porter also said that $90 million will be brought forward to support aged care providers, with significant funding rolling out this financial year.
“$40 million will be available from today to support aged care services in regional, rural and remote locations to improve, maintain and expand their infrastructure – ensuring older Australians in these locations receive the same support as people in the cities,” he said.
“We will fund $50 million to support residential aged care providers and their staff to improve quality and standards of care across the sector - funding will begin to flow next week.
“This will support 2,700 aged care homes and 366,000 staff in new training as they transition to the new, strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards and will be enforced from 1 July 2019.”
This is the first upgrade of aged care standards in more than 20 years.
The new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will bring together the functions of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.
From 1 January 2020, the Commission will take over the aged care regulatory functions of the Department of Health including provider approvals, quality and prudential compliance, and compulsory reporting.
There will be no more silos – there will be instant and constant communication on compliance, risks and complaints.
The Commission will further ensure there is nowhere to hide on quality care, building on the Government’s introduction of unannounced reaccreditation audits of aged care homes from 1 July 2018.
There are expected to be more than 500 unannounced reaccreditation audits this financial year, along with an additional 2,700 unannounced site visits by assessment teams.
By working with Australian families and aged care providers, the Liberal Government is absolutely committed to giving senior Australians the protection, support, care and respect they deserve.