The Albanese Government is asking for feedback on the exposure draft of the new Aged Care Act – a-once-in-a-generation reform that will put older people at the centre of the aged care system.
Older Australians, their families and carers, aged care providers and workers, advocates, representatives and anyone interested in aged care are invited to have their say on the draft laws for aged care that will put the rights of older people first.
The new Aged Care Act is the next step in the Albanese Government’s plan to fix the aged care crisis we inherited from our predecessors.
Once passed by the Parliament, the new Aged Care Act will ensure people who access Government-funded aged care services are treated with respect and have the quality of life they deserve.
Key features of the proposed Act are:
- including a Statement of Rights for older people
- creating a simple, single entry-point to make access to the aged care system for older people easier
- including rules on supported decision-making to ensure older people have choice and control
- introducing strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards
- providing additional protections for whistleblowers to allow reporting without fear of reprisal
- strengthening the powers of the regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, to manage risk, ensure integrity and support best-practice aged care
- introducing criminal penalties for providers that do the wrong thing.
The new Aged Care Act is being drafted and consulted on in phases. This exposure draft was developed after extensive public consultation on the foundations of the new Aged Care Act earlier this year.
Australians can get involved until Friday 16 February 2024 by:
- attending a workshop in person or online
- completing a survey
- sending a submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care.
To find out more, visit the www.health.gov.au/aged-care-act-consultation.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells:
“The Albanese Government promised to fix the aged care crisis and we are doing just that.
“We are working hard make aged care more transparent, to increase direct care for aged care residents, delivering higher worker standards, getting nurses back into nursing homes and have backed aged care workers with a pay rise.
“We are now at the threshold of a once-in-a-generation change. The new Aged Care Act is core to putting the rights of older people at the centre of aged care. We must get it right.
“We want Australians to tell us what they think of the draft law. Does it clearly define the rights of older people? Will it empower older people to make decisions about their own care?
“We want to know if aged care providers understand their responsibilities in the draft law.
“We are focused on delivering effective consultation to ensure all Australians have the opportunity to help us create an aged care system Australia is proud of.
“An aged care system that is accessible for everyone no matter their background or location. Aged care services that are innovative, safe and high quality, delivered by a workforce that is skilled, valued, supported and flexible. The new Aged Care Act aims to make all of this possible.”