Catholic Health Australia (CHA) is urging the Morrison Government to not let a once in a generation opportunity presented by the Royal Commission for lasting and meaningful reform pass it by.

CHA, which is the largest grouping of non-government aged care providers, said in its response to the Commission’s final report the Government should concentrate its efforts on four key areas:

  • Giving families choice and control over the type of care they need, including gradually removing the waiting list for home care packages and ending the rationing of services;
  • Putting in place more staff and training and paying them properly;
  • Increased disclosure and transparency that rates performance; and
  • Providing timely access by older people in aged care to the services of the wider health system.

CHA CEO Pat Garcia acknowledged the hard but necessary work undertaken by the Commission and said his members were looking forward to hearing the Government’s response in full.

‘Our members recognise that significant reform is needed to deliver an aged care system that really caters for the needs of older Australians and puts them at the very centre of what we do. They absolutely recognise that they have a role to play in helping and they stand ready to assist the government in the implementation.

‘This is a once in a generation opportunity to deliver for our older Australians a future where they have the right information so that they are able to choose the care that best suits them and their needs.

‘This is a moment in time and the Morrison Government is uniquely placed to deliver major reforms that will take some years to fully take effect but will deliver a compassionate and consumer-centric system for decades to come.’

‘However, if we want high-quality aged care and more better trained and better paid staff looking after our older Australians then we have to pay for it. The Federal Budget in May is a key starting point for the sector but we also need to recognise that it cannot be funded entirely by the Commonwealth alone.’

Mr Garcia urged people to sign a petition by the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) to put pressure on the Parliament to reform and properly fund the sector.

The AACC is a group of six aged care peak bodies: CHA, Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and UnitingCare Australia.
Together, the AACC represents more than 1,000 organisations who deliver 70 per cent of aged care services to 1.3 million Australians, either in their own homes or in communal residential settings.

CHA is calling on Australians to sign the petition to encourage their Member of Parliament to support comprehensive reform of the aged care system and government action to ensure all older people are supported and enabled to live their lives with dignity.