Building a national aged care system
The Government will overhaul how aged care services are managed.
Building a national aged care system fact sheet (PDF 38 KB)
What will this mean for older people who rely on the aged care system?
What has the Australian Government done so far to improve the aged care system?
Australia’s older population will rapidly increase within the next 40 years. There is a need to ensure that there are enough aged care beds being built, and to make sure that there are not too many older Australians in hospitals instead of receiving the care they need in the community or in aged care homes.
The aged care system is fragmented, with responsibility for the funding and regulating of aged care services currently shared between the Commonwealth and the states and territories. This causes confusion for older people and their carers seeking to access care and has led to duplication and overlap in services.
The Australian Government is taking action through its National Health and Hospitals Network.
The Government will overhaul how aged care services are managed by:
- building a nationally consistent aged care system by taking responsibility for national aged care services for older people
- investing $36.8 million over four years so older Australians and their families can access information about aged care services through new one-stop shops located throughout the country
- investing $145 million in providing an extra $300 million in zero real interest loans to help build an additional 2,500 aged care places in areas of high-need
- investing $122.0 million for the capital funding of 286 sub-acute beds or bed-equivalents in Multi-Purpose Services
- providing $98.6 million over four years to improve access to primary care services for people in aged care
- allocating $10.1 million to improve the viability of community care providers
- providing states with funding to help get patients who stay in hospital for long periods of time, out of hospital and into care
- strengthening consumer protections in aged care and toughening prudential requirements to protect residents’ aged care bonds
- working with states to encourage them to release more land and accelerate planning approval processes for aged care facilities
- asking the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into aged care to set out the path for further reforms to ensure that the aged care system is equipped to meet the challenges of the future.
What will this mean for older people who rely on the aged care system?Care recipients and their carers will be able to find the services they need more easily when they need them.
Care recipients will have more control over the care they receive, and better access to complaints resolution mechanisms when things go wrong.
Care recipients will have better access to GP and primary health care services in aged care homes.
Older patients who stay in hospitals for long periods of time will have better access to more appropriate services.
What has the Australian Government done so far to improve the aged care system?Since 2007, the Government continued to invest in the aged care system by providing:
- more than 6,300 additional residential care places – almost half of them in high care
- more than 2,800 extra community care places
- almost 700 extra transition care places.
The costs of the initiatives reflect the total new program costs to the Government.
Further information on the National Health and Hospitals Network is at www.yourhealth.gov.auback to top
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On 20 April 2012, the Prime Minister and Minister Butler unveiled a comprehensive package of reforms to build a better, fairer, more sustainable and more nationally consistent aged care system.