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Figures show home care queue jumps to 128,000


The number of older Australians waiting for the right level of care is continuing to grow with the latest figures showing almost 128,000 are queued for a home care package matching their need, 1,000 more than the previous quarter and 23,000 more than a year ago.

The latest home care package data report for October-December shows 90,646  people were receiving an HCP last September, a 22 per cent increase, or 16,441 more people than the same time in 2017.

There was also a 12.6 per cent increase in the number of people getting a high care package and overall there were more than 6,000 new entries to home care in the last quarter.

However by the end of December there were 74,000 people who had been assessed as needing care but were yet to get any level HCP, although majority of those (94 per cent) had been offered basic CHSP while they waited.

Almost 54,000 had been offered a home care package lower than they required as they waited for their assessed level of care.

The total number of people waiting for their appropriate level of care stands at 127,748 and people are continuing to wait at least 12 months for all but the most basic level of care, the figures show.

The number of home care providers also continued to grow with six new providers joining the market since September, taking the total number of approved providers to 902.

Not all bad news, government says

The federal government, facing election in coming weeks, highlighted the growth in the number of people receiving high-level care packages as a reflection of its efforts to provide more support for those with the greatest needs.

Some 29,400 new packages were released over the last quarter, Minster for Aged Care and Senior Australians Ken Wyatt said.

“This growth highlights the Morrison Government’s commitment to provide more senior Australians with subsidised care and support at higher levels,” he said in a statement.

But the opposition said the increase in wait times showed the government’s failure to fix the aged care crisis.

“Older Australians are entering residential aged care or even emergency departments instead of receiving their approved home care package,” opposing spokeswoman for ageing Julie Collins said.

The latest data was released on Wednesday, the same day as peak industry group LASA released its election manifesto calling for action to fix the “human tragedy in home care” and demanding legislated minimum wait times.

Australians on the home care priority queue

June 2017 – 88,000

December 2017 – 104,602

June 2018 – 121,418

September 2018 – 126,732

December 2018 – 127,748

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3 Responses to Figures show home care queue jumps to 128,000

  1. Will Sullivan March 14, 2019 at 11:16 am #

    The Department has refrained from publishing the statistic that really matters. How about having the courage (and honesty) to publish a distribution of maximum, minimum and median wait times (actual not notional!) by approved level. Anyone who accesses their MAC can see the number of days since approval. How about a table showing those numbers aggregated by Level? Just asking…

  2. Megna Tait March 14, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

    Sadly my father couldn’t wait any longer for his Level 3 HCP ( Over a year now ) his needs became greater due to Alzheimer’s Disease and my sister could no longer provide the care he needed. So the family has no choice but to place Dad in residential care . He is so unhappy , on the weekend we take him out and he says ” Wow Air I can breathe” . He has gone from going out very day with carer on a HCP to being stuck inside and has escaped twice . We are beside ourselves as he couldn’t say home with limited options and is to good for Formal Care ! Very disillusioning to say the least so very unhappy with the disgraceful situation with the HCP fiasco.

  3. Val March 14, 2019 at 5:35 pm #

    MAC is the biggest bureaucratic call centre ever created!!! Totally user unfriendly, call centre staff are inexperienced and work to a standard spiel with tick boxes. Just waiting for MAC go go offshore.
    In the past all Assessments for Packages were done in the client home with Tertiary Qualified and experienced Aged Care Assessors/Clinicians. Now it is streamlined to a Call Centre with pat answers for all. How would GP consults by phone go? Not well at all. Same thing!
    HCP providers still collect fees if a Client receives lower level of care than is needed and remain stuck there, as the figures show. Who loses, the Client, only the provider gains profit. And please stop with the Non Profit Sector…..they take the same amount of fees as the Private Stock exchange listed Companies. But Non Profit get lots of tax concessions and pay their workers poorly.
    The whole Industry needs to be taken by the short and curlies and revamped! Privatisation of welfare never works. Aged care or NDIS, both Client groups suffering and financially gouged to a ridiculous degree. And how much money is wasted in the sector employing Consultants and Privatised Training Courses run by big Businesses for profit!
    After 10 years of University Training and 35 years in the Industry, I retired because I could not stomach what was expected of REAL Case Managers. Care Mangers are just billing services and keeping tabs on Client fees. Also HCP providers are the same Organisations that own Aged Care Facilities. Talk about a conflict of INTEREST!!! These same organisations are crying poor!!!! Even a Royal Commission misses the subtleties because NOW LASA is providing Financial advice to people to take out equity loans against their homes!!!
    No guesses as to who gains from this, the HCP providers. The most vulnerable people in our Society, Aged Persons and Disabled People are being exploited in an obscene way. Your tax dollars are paying for this totally flawed system. And just think of the waiting lists when you come of age to need such services.
    This CDC HCP was based on a system that works in England. Why? Because the services and providers are not privatised and the Consumer really has a choice of who provides the services. Amazing how hourly cost of services automatically rise every year, and yet, the HCP’s funds stay stagnant. Why no accountability for such ridiculous costs. Considering that most paid Care Workers are a pool of casual part time staff who are under employed.

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