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Large private providers step up advocacy with official launch of peak


Australia’s biggest for-profit providers of residential aged care are set to intensify their direct lobbying of Federal Government and policy makers, with the official launch today of the Aged Care Guild and announcement of new leadership.

The guild’s nine members are Allity, Arcare Aged Care, Blue Cross, Bupa Aged Care, Estia Health, Japara Healthcare, McKenzie Aged Care, Opal Aged Care and Regis Healthcare.

Cameron O'Reilly

Cameron O’Reilly

Former CEO of the Energy Retailers Association of Australia Cameron O’Reilly has been appointed the guild’s chief executive officer, while Ross Johnston, managing director and CEO of Regis Healthcare, has been appointed chair.

While the body has been in existence since 2001 and at various times has been represented on key government committees, such as the strategic workforce advisory group, today’s launch suggests a move towards an increased visibility for the peak.

The guild said its members collectively have 34,000 residential aged care beds, providing care for around 18 per cent of older people in residential care. They hold $3.8 billion in bonds and have been the largest builders and acquirers of beds in the industry over the last six years, they said.

“The formation of the Aged Care Guild is recognition of the importance of investment in the aged care sector, to meet both the challenges and opportunities that an ageing population presents,” said Mr O’Reilly.

He said that political and policy decisions had a huge impact on investment in the sector and a bipartisan consensus on aged care was essential if the needs and expectations of older Australians were to be met in the future.

“In the short term there needs to be better understanding among policy makers and wider stakeholders about where the sector is currently, in terms of structure and gaps in provision, and where it needs to get to in the future. That is a real priority for the guild in the short term,” Mr O’Reilly said.

The guild said it would focus on key areas including ensuring a sustainable workforce, enhancing the quality of care provision, building investment certainty and developing the reputation of the industry.

Mr Johnston said the aim of the guild was to work with policy makers and investors, to create an evidence base to inform decision making on residential aged care provision and to provide leadership for the effective development of the industry.

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4 Responses to Large private providers step up advocacy with official launch of peak

  1. Peter Leith October 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Another Board. Another “peak body”. Another top-heavy, gab-fest organisational structure ! Another addition to the overhead costs. Will this proliferation of bureaucracies NEVER cease?
    There us no need for me to ask if residents will be represented on the Board because I already know that the thought has not occurred to any of you…… Peter Leith.

  2. Christine Robey October 16, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    I agree Peter. Residents come a poor last to profit in the age care sector. Staff are overworked, underpaid and vastly undervalued.

  3. Dave October 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    Just what aged care needs…more accountants and economists. And Mr O’Reilly’s extensive background in energy retailing makes him the obvious choice for their CEO.(?)

    Call it what you will, this is just another lobby group and the only advocacy on the agenda will be self interest. The care of our eldery is a tradeable commodity with profits aplenty.

    But the increasing corporatisation of aged care has an upside…sooner or later one of these executive experts will need to place mum or dad in care. Perhaps a traumatic experience or two might shift their focus from share price to care?

  4. Frances October 18, 2015 at 1:11 am #

    Its time that providers in aged care started to give more thought to the training of staff and not just employing someone because it’s pre qui site to a visa, or just a position to fill . not anyone can be an aged care nurse as is thought and if it gained a better status as a profession and not just a job, had guidelines to be met as with other nursing professions better staff, means better aged care.

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