1.3 Million Australians Benefit from Record Aged Care Funding

The Australian Government spent a record total of $17.1 billion on aged care in 2016-17, for services provided to 1.3 million senior Australians.

Page last updated: 01 December 2017

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1 December 2017

The Turnbull Government spent a record total of $17.1 billion on aged care in 2016-17, for services provided to 1.3 million senior Australians.

This was 5.7 per cent higher than the previous year, when the Commonwealth contributed $16.2 billion to aged care.

Almost 70 per cent of 2016-17 funding was for residential care, although three quarters of people receiving aged care and support were assisted in their own homes.

The figures are included in the 2016-17 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997, which was tabled in Parliament this week.

“The report shows that the majority of people using aged care services are accessing home care,” said Minister Wyatt. “This is why the Turnbull Government has rolled out widespread home care reforms, to give customers more choice and control including being able to choose a provider to meet their particular needs.

“Our aim is customer engagement through personalisation, with improved services and access to allow more people to stay in their own homes as they age, putting downward pressure on growing residential aged care requirements.”

The report is produced each year as required by the 1997 legislation.

It notes that at 30 June 2017, 15 per cent of Australia’s population, or 3.8 million people, were aged 65 years and over and 2 per cent, or 499,000 people, were 85 or over.

“The list of key achievements in aged care included in the report highlights the extent of the reform being undertaken by the Turnbull Government,” Minister Wyatt said.

“We are focussed on working with the aged care sector to create an aged care system which is more customer-friendly, accessible and affordable and is able to provide for the diverse needs of our ageing population.

“The Turnbull Government has committed to a record $100 billion aged care investment over the next five years, with funding growing at around six per cent a year.”

The Minister said 2016-17 milestones include:

    • The commitment of $5.5 billion to the Commonwealth Home Support Program, to provide services for senior Australians to continue living in their own homes.
    • A new Viability Supplement scheme to improve funding for remote residential care services and to eligible home care recipients, from 1 January 2017.
    • The Increasing Choice in Home Care reforms, introduced on 27 February 2017, giving customers control over who provides their home-based aged care services. During 2016-17, the number of approved home care providers grew by 41.5 per cent, highlighting the benefits of a market-focussed system.
    • The allocation in May 2017 of almost 10,000 new residential aged care places, nearly 500 restorative care beds and $64 million in capital grant funding to develop new or redevelop existing aged care services.
    • The My Aged Care website and service finder tool for customers was significantly improved, to support the Increasing Choice in Home Care reforms and to improve the overall design and ease of use of My Aged Care. An additional $20 million has been allocated to make further improvements.
    • An additional 6,000 Level 3 and 4 home care packages have been made available to support people in need of higher care
    • The GEN Aged Care Data website launched in August 2017, providing reliable and accessible aged care data
    • The Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 was received, making 38 recommendations for future aged care reform which are currently being considered by the Government.
    • The introduction of unannounced residential aged care quality assessment visits, one of 10 recommendations of the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes commissioned by the Aged Care Minister in May. Consideration of the Review’s key themes is a Government priority.
    • A special taskforce has begun work to prepare an aged care workforce strategy, to ensure the right mix of professional nurses, carers and other qualified staff, to provide for older Australians in care.
    • The new $25.7 million national Older Persons Advocacy Network has been launched, to stand up for people’s rights, through personal advocacy support.
The 2016-17 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 is available at the GEN Aged Care Data website.

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449
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