Xenophon calls for Senate inquiry into aged care funding

Not-for-profit providers back Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon’s call for a Senate inquiry into aged care funding, following the government’s controversial changes to ACFI.

Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon will today call for a Senate inquiry into aged care funding, following the government’s controversial changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

Senator Xenophon has previously stated he would oppose the budget cuts, joining with the Greens in attempting to block the measures.

Last December the government announced it was cutting subsidies on certain claims in the complex health care domain to save $472 million over the forward estimates, and then surprised the sector in the May budget when it announced further changes to the ACFI in the same domain to save an additional $1.2 billion over four years.

Provider peak body Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) said this morning it backed Senator Xenophon’s call for a Senate inquiry into aged care funding.

“The Senator’s support to oppose the measures offers a lifeline to aged care providers, who are extremely concerned about what the cuts will mean for those frail older residents with high needs in their care,” said Melissa Centofanti, chief executive officer of Aged & Community Services SA&NT.

“An examination of aged care funding and a model for sustainable funding would allow the sector the opportunity to have a real long-term plan for stability and growth – both of which are lacking in the current environment – where sudden and unannounced cuts to funding are causing instability in the sector and for those we care for,” said Ms Centofanti.

The announcement by Senator Xenophon was scheduled to be made at AnglicareSA’s All Hallows facility at 11.30am AEST today.

It followed the announcement last week by the Greens that it would oppose the cuts to aged care funding.

“Many providers and aged care residents across the country have raised concerns with me about the impacts cuts through the Aged Care Funding Instrument will have. Changes to the complex health care domain will impact on people suffering from chronic pain, degenerative diseases, severe arthritis and complex wounds,” Greens spokesperson on ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said last Friday.

“The sector has also raised concerns about the lack of consultation and transparency in the cuts the Coalition plans to make to aged care. These concerns highlight the need for a full cost of care study, which the sector has long been calling for.

“Rather than taking a swing at the ACFI, the government should undertake a full cost of care study and a proper review of ACFI rather than these ad hoc changes. This could then inform an ACFI reform process,” she said.

More AAA coverage on the ACFI cuts:

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Tags: acsa, Aged & Community Services SA&NT, aged-care-funding-instrument, budget-2016, funding, Melissa Centofanti, nick-xenophon,

8 thoughts on “Xenophon calls for Senate inquiry into aged care funding

  1. targeting society’s most vunerable is dispicable! Aged care is a right not a privlidge, cuts to funding will reduce quality of care to our most deserving citizens.

  2. I am concerned that the budget cuts in Aged care -particularly those living with dementia- probably that some nursing homes will not accept them as residents. They will have to stay home with the help of a carer. The number of level 4 Consumer Directed Care packages required will have to increase considerably resulting in further need for family carers education and respite assistance. The Senate enquiry is a necessity and must include looking at Rural and Regional area requirements

    Val FELL.

  3. Does the Turnbull Government want all aged care facilities to be privatised/for profit? That is a question that everyone should be asking. The market or revolving door as one elderly person pointed out is one of the largest sectors of growth in Australia and will continue to be so for many many years. The % of public places in aged care should be increased markedly. Comments invited from anyone concerned about housing/aged care places affordability.

  4. Over due and underestimated is the support of our elders in their times of need. Build the country they said , pay more tax they said, make the sacrafice for the future they said. Have more babies they said .

    The citizens of Australia have a right and entitlement to high quality aged care and community services. Stop the smoke and mirrors, its time to step up and do whats right.

  5. They pay a lot of cash or interest to get into a facility so why should the aged still be expecting minimal care

  6. I work in the aged care industry and staffing level are a real concern . We have less staff and not enought time to give the care that is needed. Funding cuts mean less staff to look after your loved ones .
    So please no funding cuts

  7. I work in the sector and this is a “real” issue. Furthermore, its beginning to impact the viability of future aged care developments. There is no doubt that reducing funding is making providers nervous and may lead to reducing future capital investments in the industry.

  8. In the NT we have both a National and Territory election due, one on top of the other. Neither major party includes aged care as an issue. Our median wait to access permanent residential care is 132 days, almost double the national wait of 68 days. (NT News June 21, 2016). In home care may only be available via a single Provider meaning ‘accept or go without.’ Administration costs can exceed 40% as against 14% in southern states.

    In a recent values survey, four in five disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that older people get more than their fair share from the government and more than 90% were opposed to the view that older people are a burden on society.
    No informed person denies the challenge facing aged care service provision . . . . but few politicians of whatever colour are prepared to address the legitimacy and urgency of needing to do so.

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