New COVID-19 payment to keep senior Australians in residential aged care safe
Residential aged care providers will benefit from an additional COVID-19 specific support package totalling $205 million under targeted measures announced today by the Morrison Government.
It takes the total COVID-19 specific Federal Government funding to more than $850 million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the latest injection of funds is aimed at ensuring aged care providers can offer reinforced levels of safety and care for those who need it most.
“Senior Australians are highly vulnerable to coronavirus and we are seeing the cost the pandemic is having on facilities around the country,” Mr Morrison said.
“This is about keeping those people in residential aged care, protected and safe.”
This comes as National Cabinet has assessed an aged care sector code of conduct for visitations to ensure residents can not only be kept safe but continue to receive the social and emotional support they need from their families at this time.
The payment – to all Commonwealth funded residential aged care providers – will be linked to the number of residents being cared for by each facility, and is aimed at covering the additional costs of caring for the health and wellbeing of residents during the pandemic.
The costs include additional staffing, training, supporting visitations and connections and the provision of personal protective equipment.
Facilities outside major metropolitan areas will receive a 50 per cent loading to cover the additional costs of providing care in these areas.
Providers will received around $900 per resident in major metropolitan areas and around $1350 per resident in all other areas.
Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said it was another measure to reinforce the sector and protect our loved ones.
“The health, wellbeing and safety of elderly residents is our highest priority – and this measure
helps reassure family and friends that everything is being done to look after their loved ones
during this most difficult time,” Minister Colbeck said.
The latest round of funding follows the $235 million retention bonus paid to residential and
home care workers to strengthen the workforce during the pandemic and $101 million to
support providers directly impacted by an outbreak.
Additionally, the Business Improvement Fund has been extended for another year with $48
million in support as required by providers.
“This payment will ensure providers continue to invest in COVID-19 preparedness to protect
the people in their care,” Minister Colbeck said.
“We are seeing how devastating the impact of COVID-19 can be if there is an outbreak in an
aged care facility.
“While Australia is doing well by international comparison, we must remain vigilant –
particularly in residential aged care to protect some of our most vulnerable Australians.”
- Under this measure, a residential aged care provider with 100 residents will receive around $90,000 if they are in a major metropolitan area and around $135,000 in otherareas across Australia.
- For smaller operations, such as a facility with 60 residents will receive around $54,000 in major metropolitan areas and around $81,000 in other areas. Providers of Aboriginaland Torres Strait Islander aged care and multipurpose services will receive commensurate payments.
- The new payment, to be provided through Services Australia is expected to be paid by early June.