Ensuring equitable access

We are improving access to high-quality care for First Nations elders and ensuring services are accessible on Country.

More funding for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program

  • Increased funding for remote National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care residential aged care services – $52.1 million over 2 years.
  • Support for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care aged care services to meet regulations under new Aged Care Act – $8.1 million over 3 years.

The Australian Government is increasing funding for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) Program to recognise the higher costs of delivering residential care in remote locations.

This will ensure NATSIFAC providers have the right level of funding to continue to deliver culturally safe care and ease financial pressure. First Nations elders located in these areas will have continued access to cultural safe aged care within their communities.

NATSIFAC providers will be offered additional funding to deliver the Fair Work Commission’s decision of a 15% pay rise for aged care workers from 1 July 2023. Funding will include on-costs.

NATSIFAC providers will also be funded to meet increased transparency and accountability requirements introduced under the new Aged Care Act. A transparent aged care system will give choice and control to First Nations elders, their families and carers to make informed decisions on aged care.

Tailored support will enhance providers’ capacity to comply with obligations, pay their staff a fair wage and ensure sustainability in the long term for these vital services.

Improving access to culturally safe care for First Nations elders

  • Build capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations – $8.2 million over 4 years.
  • Cultural safety and trauma-aware healing-informed care training – $5.3 million over 4 years.

There are around 110 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) delivering aged care services. To encourage more to enter the aged care sector, we are investing in building capability in areas such as service delivery and financial management.

We will also embed cultural safety trauma-aware healing-informed care principles and training for all aged care services. In partnership with First Nations organisations, we will develop training materials and best practice guidance on how to embed these principles to be included with the new Aged Care Quality Standards Framework.

Funding will support and develop the First Nations aged care sector, enabling:

  • community-controlled organisations to be financially sustainable
  • local workforce building
  • delivery of the high-quality aged care for communities.

First Nations elders will benefit from better access to culturally safe and trauma-aware healing-informed care through all aged care services. The training aims to improve quality, build trust and meet increased demand into the future.

Establish interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner

  • Interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner – $1.7 million over 12 months.

We will appoint an interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner. This important first step will provide a voice to advocate for First Nations elders and keep government accountable.

The interim Commissioner will be responsible for consulting with First Nations communities and stakeholders to inform the design of the role and functions of the permanent First Nations Aged Care Commissioner.

Introducing a First Nations assessment workforce

  • First Nations Assessment Workforce – $4.2 million in 2024–25.

We are establishing First Nations assessment organisations to provide a culturally safe pathway for First Nations elders to access aged care.

With a strong understanding of the aged care needs of First Nations elders, these organisations will deliver a more culturally safe and trauma-informed assessment process. First Nations elders will gain better connections with appropriate care and services.

First Nations elders will benefit from an increased focus on culturally safe experience and improved assessment outcomes.

Date last updated:

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