The government intends to respond as quickly as possible to the aged care royal commission’s recommendations when it is handed down in February next year, the aged care minister has told an industry conference.
Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck highlighted the government’s response to COVID-19 to date, reiterating it $1.6 million contribution for residential aged care to manage the pandemic in an address to the LASA Ten Days of Congress yesterday.
Mr Colbeck said he recognised the importance of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and its forthcoming recommendations, including a likely preview in a submission from counsel assisting at the final hearing later this week.
“My objective, the objective of government is to be able to respond as quickly as possible to those recommendations, particularly the resourcing of those recommendations through the budget in May next year. There’s a significant amount of work for us all to do,” Mr Colbeck told the conference on Monday.
“What we want to see for senior Australians around this country is the highest possible quality of aged care and that is what I’m expecting the form of the recommendations to take,” Mr Colbeck said.
Mr Colbeck said the royal commission was set up to form a “forensic review of the sector.”
“[It was set up] to provide the recommendations to us as to how it might be best resourced [and] what the regulatory framework might look like,” he said.
It may involve rewriting the Aged Care Act, he said.
“We’re quite comfortable to contemplate a rewrite of the Aged Care Act as a part of our reform process,” Mr Colbeck said.
Mr Colbeck also acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the aged care sector and recognised it has been a challenging year for all.
“It’s been a pretty tough year. We need to maintain our vigilance,” Mr Colbeck said.
“But a lot of the hard work is still to be done as we come towards the royal commission’s report in February. There’ll be a lot to be done off the back of that,” he said.
The LASA Ten Days of Congress is taking place 12 – 23 October as a virtual event.