Extra funds boost rural aged care
Care for older Australians in rural, remote and Indigenous aged care homes has been boosted with an extra $26.1 million in Australian Government funding, the Federal Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, has announced.
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30 June 2005
Care for older Australians in rural, remote and Indigenous aged care homes has been boosted with an extra $26.1 million in Australian Government funding, the Federal Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, announced today.
“As Australia’s population ages, increasing numbers of older Australians, particularly those in rural and remote areas, will require more aged care services in their local community.
“The Australian Government recognises that aged care homes in rural and remote areas can experience unique financial challenges arising from smaller populations and higher day-to-day operational costs associated with providing services to the local community.
“To ensure older Australians living in rural and remote areas can remain living in their local communities, rather than moving to metropolitan areas for care, the Australian Government is providing an extra $14.5 million in increased viability supplement to more than 250 aged care homes across Australia.
“In addition, eligible services operating under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Strategy will also receive viability supplement, amounting to $10.3 million over four years.
“Multipurpose Services will also receive an extra $1.3 million over four years in viability supplement to assist with the care of their aged care residents.
“There are a further 239 aged care homes that will remain on the existing viability supplement scheme and will continue to receive the current level of funding, which will be indexed, unless their circumstances change.”
Changes to the operation of the viability supplement scheme include a revised set of eligibility criteria to better target more rural and remote services. The new rates of payment will be calculated from 1 January 2005 and will be made from 1 July.
In addition to extra funding for rural and remote aged care homes, the Australian Government is also offering around half of the residential and community aged care places available in 2005 to rural and regional communities.
More information on the Viability Supplement Scheme can be found at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/publishing.nsf/Content/ageing-rescare-rescprov-viabfact.htm or through the Aged and Community Care Information Line on 1800 500 853.
Media contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289
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