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Govt announces 2020 ACAR


The government is seeking feedback on where to allocate 10,000 new residential aged care beds in 2020.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck announced on Wednesday that applications for the 2020 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) will open in March 2020 and close in May 2020.

ACAR 2020 will offer:

  • 10,000 residential aged care places
  • 750 short-term restorative care places
  • up to $60 million in capital grants for residential aged care.

The government launched a targeted stakeholder consultation and public survey for this ACAR on Wednesday to help identify geographic areas and special needs groups for the new places.

Richard Colbeck

Mr Colbeck said national peak aged care organisations, Aged Care Assessment Teams, Primary Health Networks, local councils, consumer groups and approved providers are invited to take part in the targeted consultation.

“The consultations will help identify unmet needs for residential aged care in terms of both geographic locations and the types of people whose needs should be targeted,” Mr Colbeck said.

“Increasing the number of residential places in areas where they are in short supply will help to ensure people have a safe option, as close to home as possible.

“We also want to make sure that care is accessible for people who may be missing out — whether it’s because they are homeless, they have dementia, or they come from different cultural backgrounds.”

Fewer places than 2019

The 2018-19 ACAR called for a focus on meeting the needs of seniors in non-metropolitan areas.

Almost a third of the 13,500 residential places allocated last round went to residential providers in rural, regional and remote areas (read more here).

And 22 per cent of those new residential places went to three providers (read more here).

Alternatives to ACAR being considered

The Department of Health and partners undertook a consultation on alternative models for allocating places earlier this year (read more here).

The results have not yet been published.

Mr Colbeck said possible changes to the system for allocating residential care places were being considered.

In the meantime, it is important to maintain a future supply of residential care places, he said.

“It can take a number of years for places to be brought online after they are allocated. The 2020 ACAR is an important element of meeting future need for residential care in Australia,” he said.

Stakeholder survey open

The Department of Health is inviting all stakeholders to complete a short survey to help inform the distribution and targeting approach for new places.

The targeted consultation and survey close on 31 January. Access the survey here.

Find out more about 2020 ACAR here.

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