A national coalition of aged care consumers, providers, health professionals and unions have jumped on their own election band wagon to sound the call for all political parties to adopt a bi-partisan approach to sector reform.
The National Aged Care Alliance (The Alliance) is asking each election candidate to stop using aged care as a “political football” and instead, show true commitment to developing a sustainable system.
Chief Executive of the Council on the Ageing and Alliance spokesperson, Ian Yates, requests that all parties endorse the aged care vision developed by the collective.
“More community care, more choices in the services older people receive and a financially sustainable system,” is what Mr Yates said The Alliance’s vision entails.
“Older Australians deserve the respect of their fellow Australians and a system that’s designed for and around them…We don’t have those things at the moment.
“Our vision is significant as The Alliance is a coalition of consumer and provider groups, experts, professionals and the unions. And we have all agreed upon the direction in which aged care should be developed over next decade.”
Mr Yates said that although aged care is not often viewed by politicians as a popular vote winner, it is an extremely important issue which needs to be addressed now.
“While the government has referred the detail of reform to the Productivity Commission, we need commitment that they will move in the same direction as [our vision] and not make aged care a political football,” he said.
“In the last couple of elections the political parties have avoided talking about aged care…The problem is that although past electoral surveys show that people are concerned about aged care, it is not necessarily a vote changer itself.”
While Mr Yates commends both the Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, for promising to make aged care a priority in their second term of office if elected, he said that their commitment must be stronger and the action must come earlier.
“We want all political parties to support The Alliance vision,” The Alliance said in a statement.
“If this vision is implemented by the next government every older Australian will be able to live with dignity and independence in a place of their choosing with a choice of appropriate and affordable support and care services as and when they need them.”
“The Alliance calls on every candidate to commit to the new Vision for Aged Care – let’s put older Australians first in this election.”
The Alliance is a coalition of 26 organisations representing consumers, providers, health professionals, and unions involved in aged care.