The provision of aged care in rural and remote Australia has received a $5.79 million boost, with the Federal Government today announcing extra funding for 17 multi-purpose services in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

The Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) Programme is jointly funded between the federal and state governments, providing integrated health and aged care services to small rural and remote communities.

Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley said the package included three new MPSs in NSW to provide 52 residential places, 38 of which would take effect immediately.

The additional funding provided for residential care services for people with more complex and increasing aged care needs in rural and remote communities, Ms Ley said.

Assistant Minister for Health, Ken Wyatt said the benefit of the MPS program was that it brought together “the best possible service provision to great effect in our small rural and remote communities.”

It was important to support the needs of all older Australians irrespective of where they live and the MPS programme was doing this by collaborating and using a flexible approach to how smaller communities can deliver care to our ageing population, Mr Wyatt said.

ACFA due to report

The funding boost comes as the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) is this month due to provide the Federal Government with its analysis into the financial performance of rural and remote aged care providers, after its first report into the factors influencing providers’ financial performance in May recommended a more detailed study into rural and remote issues.

As reported by Australian Ageing Agenda, submissions to that review told ACFA that myriad social and economic issues in rural and remote areas were combining to seriously challenge aged care service provision, which providers said needed to be reflected in better policy.

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