Prime Minister Scott Morrison, says it was clear from the Royal Commission’s work that while significant progress has been made, there is a clear roadmap to improve respect and care for our older Australians.
“I called this Royal Commission to ensure our oldest and most frail Australians could receive the respect and care that supports their dignity, and recognises the contribution that they have made to society,” says Minister Morrison.
“I warned when I called the Royal Commission there will be stories that will be hard to hear. And that has been the case. But at the same time, we have also heard heart-warming cases of dedication and with the challenges of Covid-19 in the past year, we need to acknowledge the hard work performed by our aged care workforce.
“As I noted at the time, Australians must be able to trust that their loved ones will be cared for appropriately and the community should have confidence in the system. This remains our clear goal.
“Today, the Australian Government is continuing to drive reforms with additional funding of $452.2 million to address immediate priorities in the sector.”
These immediate steps will drive improved quality of care by strengthening aged care provider governance, and improved oversight of home care which will ensure senior Australians and taxpayers are getting value for money.
It will provide additional financial assistance for residential care providers so they can improve care, whilst building the much needed workforce of the future to support Australians who want to age in their own homes.
Health Minister Greg Hunt, reiterated the Australian Government’s commitment to the necessary reform of aged care.
“The Royal Commission’s report is a significant document, the culmination of a two-year inquiry, and demands a carefully considered response,” says Mr Hunt.
“We thank the Royal Commissioners and commit to the two fundamental principles of respect and care for our elders. We responded quickly to the Royal Commission’s interim report and its special report on Covid-19, with additional investments in the priority areas identified by the Royal Commission.
“The Government announced a $537 million package in November 2019, in response to the Interim Report, with a focus on more home care packages, reducing the number of young people living in residential aged care, and improving medication management.
“As part of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in aged care $1.8 billion was committed last year, including a $132 million package in November 2020. This funding is increasing access to mental health support and allied health services for aged care residents, and has provided significant additional financial support to improve infection prevention and control and workforce capability in aged care facilities during the pandemic.
“Today, we announce a further $452.2 million package as an initial step in responding to this Final Report.
“Our comprehensive response to the Royal Commission final report will be driven by the principle of respect and care and through the lens of five broad pillars:
- Home Care
- Residential aged care quality and safety
- Residential aged care services and sustainability
“The five pillars will underpin the Australian Government’s response, along with its reform agenda and the implementation of those changes.”