The need to address long-term funding of the aged care sector was among the topics discussed at the inaugural meeting of the aged care taskforce last week.
Chaired by Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells – and attended by industry stakeholders – the taskforce was established to review financing of the industry and to oversee the final design of the new in-home care program.
During the online meeting on 16 June, the taskforce membership also discussed the need to take a broad approach to its remit. On its agenda is:
- identifying trends in demography, income and wealth, and assessing short- and long-term provider viability issues
- considering mechanisms to develop a more equitable, sustainable and viable aged care sector, including existing financial products that are currently underutilised in aged care
- exploring the practical steps needed to create and embed a system with much better clarity and transparency over what taxpayers and consumers pay
- improving the way people access and navigate the system.
According to a communique issued by the Department of Health and Aged Care, the taskforce will adopt a “data-led approach” to its deliberations and engage with the community and “aged care thought leaders” throughout the process.
As revealed during Ms Wells’ National Press Club address on 7 June, the aged care taskforce membership includes:
- Mike Baird
- Professor Tom Calma
- Grant Corderoy
- Rosemary Huxtable
- Professor John McCallum
- Mary Patetsos
- Nigel Ray
- Patricia Sparrow
- Tom Symondson
- Margaret Walsh
- John Watkins
- Janine Walker
- Thomas Walker.
The time-limited taskforce will meet monthly until October when the interim report will be handed down before the final report is delivered to government in December.
During her press club address, Ms Wells said, as taskforce chair, she would welcome all proposals. “I’m bringing as the chair an open mind to the deliberations of the taskforce,” she said. “I think we should keep as many options open and the taskforce should work through them.”