‘We hear you’ – PC drops two-bed, shared-bath cost setting

One issue off the PC ‘issues’ list as Commissioner Woods acknowledges concerns with the cost setting for concessional accommodation

Pictured: Deputy Chairman of the Productivity Commission, Mike Woods

By Keryn Curtis with Yasmin Noone

Productivity Commission Deputy Chairman, Mike Woods has told the audience at a community sector forum in Canberra today that the Productivity Commission would not proceed with one of the more contentious recommendations made in its draft report, Caring for Older Australians

Mr Woods was speaking at a forum at Canberra’s Australian National University, hosted by Anglicare Australia and United Voice (formerly LHMU), entitled Living on a Low Income and Care in Later Life

He said that the Productivity Commission had heard a chorus of complaints about the draft report’s recommendation (Draft Recommendation 6.7) that proposed setting the Australian Government’s contribution for a basic standard of accommodation for supported (concessional) residents on the basis of a two-bed room with a shared bathroom.

“We hear you,” the Commissioner told the audience.

“We have heard from you… including many people around this room, that it is not sustainable […] and we will change that in the final report.  That’s why we put out the draft.”

He said while the PC was yet to establish an alternative cost setting, the original proposal of the two-bed room and shared bathroom would not be part of the PC’s final report.

However, Commissioner Woods also said there was a need to be realistic about the cost of a single bed room standard.

“Although people would like to see a move to a single bed standard, it would mean an increased cost to the taxpayer,” he said. 

In response to AAA’s formal request to the Productivity Commission for further information on his comments at this morning’s forum, Commissioner Woods said in a statement, “we have had considerable feedback on this proposal and we will reconsider it in light of participants’ input and a final decision will be made when submissions have been received and hearings have been held.”

CEO of Aged Care Association of Australia, Rod Young, said it was difficult to have anything but praise for the news.

“This was one of the issues that the industry had concerns about and obviously they are addressing it,” said Mr Young.

“It’s great that that they have been prepared to put their ideas out and then take feedback and look at alternatives where it appears there is a general consensus that the initial proposal may have some deficiencies.” 

Other speakers at the event included:

Tags: aged-care, aged-care-association-of-australia, anglicare-australia, australian-national-university, barbara-pocock, bryan-lipmann, care, caring-for-older-australians, draft-report, living-on-a-low-income-and-care-in-later-life, macquarie-university, michael-fine, mike-woods, productivity-commission, rod-young, unisa, united-voice, wintringham,

3 thoughts on “‘We hear you’ – PC drops two-bed, shared-bath cost setting

  1. I undertook research with older people who were residents in aged care facilities – no resident I interviewed wanted to share a room – it is only the people designing these places who suggest this. My overwhelming experience is that families and carers and the residents themselves do not want single rooms. If you would like to read my research please go to this link where you can access the full research:

    http://dtl.unimelb.edu.au/R/RB1B5799CDVTEBAMD34RDXQ9H3SG4F2L4D2UQXQ5RE5AQB6GU1-00979?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=99115&local_base=GEN01&pds_handle=GUEST

  2. I agree that all Nursing Homes should have single accomodation with ensuites. I have 30 years experience in Aged care and have witnessed countless residents requesting single rooms. Is it not enough that they have to leave the family home to come into residential care, let alone sharing a room with another resident. We state we respect their privacy and dignity only to palce residents in shared accomodation.

  3. Fantastic news that countless residents are requesting single rooms; But will THEY PAY for that single room will families be willing to pay accommodation bonds for high care? When will the Govt and society realize that the care doesn’t change its all about the accommodation if the client wants choice of accommodation the client has to be willing to pay for that choice? Open the aged Care industry and let the clients decide what they want and if they are willing to pay for it. After 30 years running aged care communities I have seen it to often that the resident wants the single room and is willing to pay a bond only to be told there are no bonded rooms available. Let the market decide what type of accommodation it wants to pay for.

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