Change or become extinct

ACSA’s national president warns the sector needs to change but says that overregulation is a still a real impediment.

Klaus Zimmerman addressing the ACSA’s national conference.

The national president of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) has criticised the Commonwealth Government for the excessive regulatory burden it places on the sector.

Speaking at the opening session of the association’s annual conference, Klaus Zimmerman said that on the whole, aged care providers had done their bit in responding to the Hogan Report’s call for better business practice.

“The industry has done much to become efficient but many of the inefficiencies and the very significant cost drivers that are associated with that are imposed upon us and are usually not, or at best, only partially funded,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The call for efficiency drive needs to be directed to all the components, agencies and umpires, which includes government.”

Mr Zimmerman described the current situation, where aged care costs are driven by market forces but are capped by the government’s funding regime, as “illogical”.

The CEO of South Australian provider, Eldercare, also questioned the need for the industry’s stringent building certification regime which has been imposed on top of the building code.

But at the same time, Mr Zimmerman called on the sector to initiate its own reform.

He said future consumers are going to demand a larger choice of services and providers must change the way they operate to better suit their needs.

“The organisations that stay still or do nothing might just find themselves extinct,” Mr Zimmerman said.

He also said the industry needs to do a better job of marketing itself.

“We need to say to the community that we have a healthy and world-class industry,” he said.

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