Victorian providers have backed the state’s premier after he urged the federal government to include aged care in its hospitals and health reform plans.

John Brumby said he still had over 40 issues with the national plan including particular concerns about aged care.

“We have got thousands of people who can’t get beds in aged care facilities, and many of them are in beds in hospitals when they should be in aged care facilities,” he told the ABC.

“So what we would want is some aged care reform. We need to look at that in the context of the hospital reform package as well.”

The CEO of Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV), Gerard Mansour, said the prime ministers and the premiers had a “unique opportunity” to address aged care issues at next month’s COAG meeting.

“Here is an opportunity for the state premiers and the PM to deal with the whole picture,” he said.

“We commend the Rudd Government for putting the whole issue on the table and we commend the Victorian Government for highlighting the need for aged care reform.”

Mr Mansour said it was crucial that aged care problems were included in discussions because the hospital and aged care systems are like “interconnecting cogs”.

“Our risk is that the hospital train leaves the station and they forget to put the aged care carriage on,” he said.

“If they deal with the hospital issues at COAG, our biggest risk is that the aged care ‘bikkie jar’ will be empty.”

Mr Mansour said the government could improve the situation in aged care immediately by providing support for IT, improving the annual indexation and addressing the sector’s capital shortages.

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