CAP concerns intensify

Up to 16,000 aged care jobs could be lost throughout Australia by 2013, warns ACCV.

Victoria’s industry body has warned that aged care providers would miss out on a billion dollars over the next four years if the Rudd Government did not commit to the Conditional Adjustment Payment (CAP) in next week’s budget.

Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV) and other industry groups have sought a number of assurances about the CAP but for months the government has refused to speculate on its budget plans.

Without the annual top-up funding ACCV has estimated that 4,500 aged care jobs will be lost in Victoria and 16,000 positions will disappear across the country by 2013.

“Funding cuts of this magnitude threaten to rip the heart out of our aged care services,” said the group’s CEO, Gerard Mansour.

The calls for a CAP commitment come less than a week after the Senate’s Finance and Public Administration Committee handed down a report highlighting the difficulties being experienced by aged care providers.

Based on the evidence it heard, the committee concluded that the current indexation formula “may no longer be appropriate for the aged care sector”.

It also urged the Commonwealth Government to consider a continuation of the CAP until an “all-encompassing” review of the Aged Care Act is completed.

“The Senate report has taken the almost unprecedented step of calling for the Rudd Government not to cut current adjustment levels until a proper funding index can be set in place,” said Mr Mansour.

“Our sector is already struggling to provide quality care to older Australians as a result of years of under-funding.

“Older people and their families will be alarmed and angry to learn that the government’s tight-fisted approach is placing at risk the long-term future of vital services on which they rely.”

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