Stakeholders to draft white paper on aged care financial sustainability

Australia’s aged care sector will develop a white paper to advise the federal government on the most favourable funding model for the future.

Australia’s aged care sector will develop a white paper to advise the federal government on the most favourable funding model for the future.

Incorporating the views of providers, unions, advocates, academics, consumer groups and older Australians, the announcement of a white paper follows a Financial Sustainability Summit hosted by the Aged & Community Care Providers Association in Canberra last week.

Stakeholders at the Financial Sustainability Summit at Old Parliament House

ACCPA CEO Tom Symondson said summit attendees agreed in-principle that – if aged care standards were to be raised – the system needed to provide greater balance between what taxpayers and aged care recipients themselves paid.

Tom Symondson

“How should Australia bridge the gap to ensure older Australians receive the quality care they need and deserve now and into the future?” asked Mr Symondson.

Australia currently spends $34 billion – or 1.2 per cent of GDP – on aged care. “The majority of aged care funding in Australia is currently provided by taxpayers, rather than individuals, which is placing an increasing burden on the federal government budget,” said Mr Symondson.

As Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells confirmed during her National Press Club speech Wednesday, the aged care taskforce – established to review the sector’s funding arrangements – will consider introducing greater contributions by older Australians to ease aged care funding pressures.

Funding pressures that are only likely to increase:

  • more than 4.1 million Australians – almost 16 per cent of the population – are currently over the age of 65
  • by 2057 that will rise to 8.8 million – 22 per cent of the population
  • by 2097 12.8 million people will be 65-plus – one-in-four Australians.

“Pressure on the aged care sector will only intensify with a rapidly ageing population,” said Mr Symondson. “Fewer people will be of working age, and more people will require care.”

Drafted by ACCPA, the white paper will be delivered to government in coming months.

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Tags: ACCPA, financial sustainability, white paper,

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