The Coalition 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 Wide Bay, Llew O'Brien MP 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.
"We are also taking action to establish the new Commission to address known failures in quality regulation for Australia's aged care system.
"We will also bring forward $90 million to support aged care providers, with significant funding rolling out this financial year.
"This includes $40 million 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.
"We will provide $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 - to be enforced from 1 July 2019," Mr O'Brien said.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said older Australians deserve our respect and they should receive the very best care available.
"The Coalition Government is committed to keeping Australians safe and this includes as they age." Minister Hunt said.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the overwhelming majority of aged care providers do the right thing but recognises some have not been up to scratch.
"This funding boost builds on the $32.6 million we announced in May for the new Commission and means issues can be highlighted and dealt with quickly under one agency which reports directly to Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care." Minister Wyatt said.
"Our message is clear - any organisation or person doing the wrong thing will be found. Sub-standard care will not be tolerated, including the option to shut down an operator doing the wrong thing.
"This will be the first upgrade of aged care standards in more than 20 years.
"Today we also release a new strategy to attract and retain more workers for the aged care sector, while also improving the quality of the care given. This will not only support the creation of new jobs but also ensure older Australians are better supported as the population ages." Minister Wyatt said.
"We will also bring forward the appointment of a new Chief Clinical Adviser under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner. 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.
"The Chief Clinical Adviser position will strengthen medical governance across the sector, providing advice to the Commission and education to the sector while improving the link between doctors and aged care professionals."
"Already we have had extensive reviews in the aged care sector from the Tune and Carnell Review, and today we are pleased to again strengthen the sector and importantly improve support for Older Australians, "said Minister Wyatt.