Legislation enacting the next wave of reforms giving older Australians more choice about their home care services passed the Senate yesterday.
Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia said the new changes were “a very welcome improvement to our aged care system.”
From February 2017 home care packages will be assigned to consumers by My Aged Care from a national pool of available packages.
The new provisions would, for the first time, enable older people to choose their services and who provided them, rather than having services determined for them, said COTA chief executive Ian Yates.
The new legislation would allow people who were unhappy with the services they were receiving, or who needed to relocate out of the area, to change providers and keep their package.
The new laws were a big step forward in implementing Productivity Commission recommendations from 2011 for a system that gave more choice and control to the consumer, Mr Yates said.
A more competitive aged care environment would put the onus on aged care providers to prove their worth and improve the quality of care and services they, he added.
COTA congratulated the Federal Government and Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley on the passage of the legislation and thanked Labor and the Greens for their bipartisan support and assistance in swift passage of the Bill, which Mr Yates said “would now allow ample time for implementation before the new arrangements start in February next year.”
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