ACFI exacerbates rural spiral

A South Australian provider says the new funding instrument is adding to the difficulties of running small, low care facilities in rural communities.

Twelve months after its introduction, South Australian provider Eldercare says the Aged Care Funding Instrument [ACFI] has exacerbated the problems of small, rural low care facilities.

The organisation has held a forum in Stansbury on the Yorke Peninsula to warn community members that it may not be able to keep operating its facility in the town.

Eldercare CEO Klaus Zimmerman told the meeting that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find residents and staff members for the home.

He said the average government subsidy for the home’s low care residents is just $30 a day and because of this some beds were being left empty.

“We can’t take in new low care residents because they don’t have enough daily funding and we can’t take in high care because the facility is not suitable,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The home was built as a low care facility and its rooms are not big enough for high care. We need to renovate but we don’t have sufficient access to capital.”

Mr Zimmerman said the home’s $250,000 starting point for bonds was inaccessible for many people in the small, farming community.

“The inability to rebuild is creating a spiral in rural areas and the ACFI has just exacerbated the problem,” he said.

“The current system with its ‘one model fits all’ approach just doesn’t’ suit the smaller, rural facilities that were originally built for low care.”

Eldercare has repeatedly asked the government to consider additional support for these facilities.

Mr Zimmerman said low care homes in rural areas need greater access to capital so they can take in high care residents and an additional subsidy for low care residents.

“The alternative is that residents will have to go to larger facilities outside the area where they live,” he said.

Tags: acfi, klaus-zimmerman, rural-facilities, viability,

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