PDF printable version New Directions For Older Australians (PDF 25 KB)
13 May 2008
Older Australians will benefit from a range of measures announced in the 2008-09 Federal Budget today by Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot.
“The Rudd Government will ensure older Australians get the quality care – and choice of care – they want and need,” Mrs Elliot said.
Today there are two million Australians aged 70 and over, comprising nearly 10 per cent of the population. This number will double to 4 million in the next 20 years.
“The Government, working closely with senior Australians, state and territory and local governments, and the aged care industry, will reform the aged sector to meet changing Australian demographics.
“The Federal Government is building a modern Australia capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century,” Mrs Elliot said.
Measures announced in the 2008-09 Budget include:
- An additional $293.2 million over four years to provide an extra 2000 transition care places to older people who no longer require hospital care, to help them recover and regain their independence before making a decision about their longer term care needs.
- Increasing the level of the Conditional Adjustment Payment (CAP) by 1.75 per cent from 7.0 per cent to 8.75 per cent of the basic aged care subsidy, meaning an additional $407.6 million over four years for investment in the aged care sector and bringing total CAP payments over the next four years to $2 billion.
- Increasing the nursing workforce in residential aged care by encouraging up to 1,000 nurses to return to the nursing workforce over 5 years. The Program is part of a larger measure through which the Government will provide $138.9 million over five years across the Health and Ageing and Education portfolios to encourage 8,750 qualified nurses to return to the workforce and to create 90 new Commonwealth supported places in nursing in the second semester of 2008, with a further 1,170 places in 2009.
- Increasing the number of reviews of funding claims made by aged care providers, achieving net savings of $18.1 million over two years, to ensure aged care providers are being correctly funded to meet the needs of their residents.
- $300 million in zero real interest loans to aged care providers to encourage them to build or expand residential aged care and respite facilities in areas of high need, where providers might not normally invest. This measure will provide up to 2,500 aged care beds where there is a shortage of residential care beds.
- Regularly reviewing aged care planning ratios to take into account demographic changes and ensure the supply of aged care appropriately meets current and future demand – that older Australians needing care in the future receive the most appropriate services.
Media contact: Ruci Fixter 0415 359 023