Aged care organisations were disappointed by the high profile debate on health reform between the prime minister and the opposition leader.

The Campaign for the Care of Older Australians (CCOA) said Kevin Rudd’s brief mention of transition care services in the debate did not go far enough.

The prime minister said his government had delivered 500 new transition care places for older Australians and a further 1,500 were in the pipeline.

But CCOA said Mr Rudd needs to outline the details of his plan to take full responsibility for all health and aged care services.

“Older Australians need to be reassured that they will be able to choose when and where they receive aged care services; and those services have to be accessible and sustainable,” the group said in a statement following the debate.

“Aged care providers, older people and their families are well and truly ready for the finger pointing to end.  They are ready for the dramatic changes needed to make aged care a viable and accessible system able to meet a range of needs.

The CCOA coalition called on the government to release the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into aged care which was first announced in August last year.

The group is pushing for reforms that would see aged care services provided as an entitlement based on assessed needs.

It also wants aged care consumers to have greater choice and flexible payment options for accommodation.

The CCOA coalition members include Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA), Catholic Health Australia (CHA) and eight other church and charitable aged care organisations.

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