Productivity Commission backs NHHRC report

The commission is encouraged by the recommendation to do away with the limits on regional places.

Ian Monday is “encouraged” by the recommendations in the NHHRC report.

The Productivity Commission supports proposed changes to the aged care system outlined in the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission’s (NHHRC) recent interim report on Australia’s future health needs.

The NHHRC paper called for a removal of the regional limitations on aged care places as part of a move to streamline care services and improve consumer choice.

It echoed concerns about the dual gate-keeping system in aged care raised by the Productivity Commission in a report last September.

Assistant Commissioner Ian Monday told Australian Ageing Agenda he was happy to see the issue being addressed by the government-appointed expert committee.

“In broad terms, the recommendations in the [NHHRC] report are in sympathy with the arguments in our report,” he said.

“The commission is encouraged that that line of thinking has been taken up in the recommendations that have gone to government.”

Mr Monday told delegates at the TriState Conference in Albury that the current system is flawed because it simultaneously limits the supply of aged care places and recipients.

“It’s simply not cost-effective, nor sustainable, nor is it, arguably, justifiable,” Mr Monday said.

The assistant commissioner also said the regulations which stop ordinary high care residents from paying voluntary bonds are undermining the long-term viability of residential high care.

“There is growing evidence that there are high levels of cross-subsidisation for high care residents from low care residents and this is creating perverse incentives for providers,” said Mr Monday.

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