6,500 more aged care places for older Australians
A total of 6,525 new residential aged care beds worth $233.3 million a year in recurrent funding have been allocated across Australia to provide much-needed care for frail older Australians.
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20 December 2007
A total of 6,525 new residential aged care beds worth $233.3 million a year in recurrent funding would be allocated across Australia to provide much-needed care for frail older Australians.
In announcing these today, the Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, also said capital grants of $40.5 million would be allocated to assist aged care providers build or improve residential aged care services.
Of the 6,525 places allocated, there are 4,415 high care and 2,110 low care places.
The new places are part of the 2007 Aged Care Approvals Round – an annual competitive assessment process that allocates new aged care places to providers who best demonstrate they can meet the needs of the ageing population within a specified region.
This process was commenced under the former Howard Government. Decisions on aged care places are made independently by the Department of Health and Ageing.
“While 6,525 new places is good news, more beds are needed,” Mrs Elliot said.
The outcomes of the 2007 Aged Care Approvals Round show that not enough providers are applying to set up aged care services in some of the undersupplied areas of Australia. The Government has committed to fill these gaps.
“One of the Rudd Government’s election commitments was to make available $300 million in zero real interest rate loans to providers who are willing to establish aged care services in undersupplied areas. I will be making further announcements about this soon,” Mrs Elliot said.
“To complement the new loans scheme, the Government will also reform the existing aged care planning and allocation arrangements to ensure the time between the allocation of new places and when they become operational is reduced to a minimum.
“In particular, the annual allocation process will be made more efficient and the planning ratio, which is used to determine how many places are made available each year, will be reviewed,” she said.
A summary of the new residential aged care place and capital grant allocations is attached. Details of the allocations can be found on the Department of Health and Ageing web site at www.health.gov.au/acar2007.
For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280
2007 ACAR - Summary of Residential Aged Care Places Allocations
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