The Federal Government will invite 100 aged care providers to a special forum to share their views on the proposals for future reform of the sector put forward in the Aged Care Roadmap, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt has told Australian Ageing Agenda.
The event, to take place in either Sydney or Melbourne in February, will be attended by a cross-section of providers representing metropolitan and rural and remote Australia as well as special needs groups such as Aboriginal, culturally and linguistically diverse and LGBTI seniors, as well as peak bodies.
The government received the roadmap in April but is yet to provide a response to its wide-ranging recommendations which include the deregulation of aged care places and prices and removing the distinction between residential and community care.
The roadmap was developed by the Aged Care Sector Committee, the government-appointed body representing aged care providers, peak bodies, older people and professional groups.
Mr Wyatt told AAA that while he had been engaging with various committees and groups on the proposals, he wanted to hear from providers working at the frontline.
“All of my meetings are with committees, often with peak organisations, and that’s not a criticism, they reflect the members who belong to them, but I also want to get some providers at the table and hear some of the thinking they have,” he said.
The invited providers would be given an opportunity to talk with government and Department of Health bureaucrats about the directions outlined in the roadmap, Mr Wyatt said.
The government wants provider input on the short, medium and long-term proposals contained in the roadmap as well as feedback on reforms currently underway and how they influence future changes, he said.
Earlier this month Mr Wyatt confirmed the government had ruled out the full deregulation of residential aged care places until adequate safeguards can be put in place ensuring provision of care in regional and rural areas (read AAA’s story here).
Mr Wyatt also made it clear that any future reforms would need to consider special needs groups, such as Aboriginal seniors, veterans and LGBTI seniors, as well as those living in rural and remote areas.
Related AAA coverage: Roadmap: stakeholders look to government, opposition to support reform proposals
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