03 March 2021 | News
Royal Commission proposal to reform aged care sector
Photo Credit: Freepik
The Australian Government unravels the Final Report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety with its significant and sweeping proposals for reform of the aged care sector.
The Royal Commission’s Final Report recognizes the immense effort of our nurses and carers but also brings the challenges of aged care services into clear focus. The Government is committed to transforming aged care and the Royal Commission’s monumental report, with 148 recommendations, delivers a challenging, but achievable road to reform.
Australian Government aims to drive reforms with additional funding of $452.2 million to address immediate priorities in the sector. These immediate steps will drive improved quality of care by strengthening aged care provider governance. It will provide additional financial assistance for residential care providers so they can improve care, whilst building the much-needed workforce of the future to support Australians who want to age in their own homes.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said, “The Royal Commission’s report is a significant document, the culmination of a two year inquiry, and demands a carefully considered response. The Government announced a $537 million package in November 2019 in response to the Interim Report, with a focus on more home care packages, reducing the number of young people living in residential aged care, and improving medication management. As part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in aged care $1.8 billion was committed last year, including a $132 million package in November 2020. This funding is increasing access to mental health support and allied health services for aged care residents, and has provided significant additional financial support to improve infection prevention and control and workforce capability in aged care facilities during the pandemic.
The recent announcement of $452.2 million packages is the initial step in responding to this Final Report.
Governments' comprehensive response to the Royal Commission's final report will be driven by the principle of respect and care and through the lens of five broad pillars: Home Care, Residential aged care quality and safety, Residential aged care services and sustainability, Workforce, and Governance.
The five pillars will underpin the Australian Government’s response, along with its reform agenda and the implementation of those changes.
In response to the Royal Commission, the Government will immediately invest $30.1 million to strengthen the governance of aged care providers and legislative governance obligations on the sector.