Leading seniors advocate COTA Australia today welcomed the introduction of the legislation which will give control of aged home care packages and services to older people for the first time.
COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates said this was a great first step in allowing older people to pick and choose their services, and who provides them, rather than that being determined for them.
Currently aged care packages are allocated by government to aged care service providers, so when an older person is assessed as eligible for a package to support them in their home they have to then find a provider in their area who has one available.
Under the system proposed in the Bill tabled today, after being assessed as eligible the person will get the care package and can take it to the provider of their choice. In addition an individual who is not happy with the services they receive can move to another provider and take their package with them.
“This is about increasing choice and control for older people – a step toward implementation of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations for a fully consumer focused and controlled system.
“It moves us towards a more competitive aged care environment where providers will have to prove their worth – increasing competition and improving quality of service delivery.
“Most aged care service providers try to do the right thing by their consumers, and many succeed. However there are big problems with some providers not following the requirements of the Consumer Directed Care model in place since July 2015.
“The changes proposed will enable consumers to move away from poor providers, which will be a relief to many older people and their families.”
Mr Yates urged all Parliamentary Parties to affect quick passage of the legislation so implementation planning can proceed with plenty of time.
“We’d also call on the government to continue the process of aged care reform by announcing further initiatives in the 2016 Federal Budget such as a timetable for extending the same consumer choice and control into residential care,” Mr Yates said.
Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Olivia Greentree 0439 411 774.
COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.