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Government commits record $967m to expand residential aged care


Evelyn Lewin


5/03/2019 3:06:26 PM

The new funding will provide 13,500 new residential aged care places across Australia.

‘Every one of these new places will mean senior Australians can age with more confidence,’ Ken Wyatt said. (Image: Joel Carrett)
‘Every one of these new places will mean senior Australians can age with more confidence,’ Ken Wyatt said. (Image: Joel Carrett)

‘[This] expansion is part of our Government’s $5 billion aged care boost,’ Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said.
 
The funding will provide 13,500 new residential aged care places across Australia, worth $907 million a year. This boost represents an increase of more than 36% on the 9911 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) places announced in 2016–17.
 
A $60 million capital works investment will provide 28 grants to establish, extend and refurbish new and existing homes in priority areas of rural and regional Australia.  
 
While metropolitan funding allocations are at record levels, the greater boost will be for rural, regional and remote areas, with more than 5000 new aged care facility places allocated to regional areas. This is almost double the number of new places allocated outside major cities from the previous round of funding.
 
‘Allocating these new places to regional areas is part of our strategy to combat the challenges faced by these communities,’ Minister Wyatt said.
 
‘I am passionate about ensuring all Australians have access to quality aged care services regardless of where they live.
 
‘Every one of these new places will mean senior Australians can age with more confidence, knowing they have future care options in locations as close as possible to their families and communities, whether in the city or the country.’
 
Priority access to more than 23% of the new places will be given to older Australians who are financially or socially challenged, from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or LGBTQI communities, or who are veterans.
 
There will also be a focus on supporting senior Australians with special or complex needs, with more than $4.7 million to be invested in Shepparton, Victoria, to build a 20-bed residential aged care facility exclusively for disadvantaged older Australians who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.
 
Meanwhile, a further $5.9 million will go towards extending and upgrading two facilities in Queensland to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander seniors with culturally appropriate aged care.



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Dr Dreena Elizabeth Kelly   6/03/2019 11:28:45 AM

This is good news.
However who will look after these vulnerable residents?
I work in Port Hedland. I am the only GP who cares for 56 residents. It is a commonwealth funded facility for mainly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Chronically short staffed.
I am on call 12 hours per day 7 days per week , without pay. Before I took over their care they were cared for by the Emergecy Department 500 metres from the aged care facility.


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