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Minister concerned of ‘strain’ facing aged care sector

A genuine conversation needs to be had about aged-care funding, Anika Wells says.

A genuine conversation needs to be had about aged-care funding, Anika Wells says. Photo: AAP

The residential aged care system is under significant strain, with two-thirds of providers making a loss late last year.

The aged care royal commission, which uncovered a system under stress and in dire need of reform, recommended greater transparency of the finances of aged care sector players.

The first release of data, covering the September 2022 quarter before major reforms were rolled out by the Labor government, found 66 per cent of providers making a loss.

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said stronger reporting and oversight were key to improving the system.

“The snapshot shows the strain a decade of inadequate funding from the coalition has put on the aged care sector,” she said on Friday.

The report found aged care residents received an average 187 minutes per day of care, including 34 minutes from registered nurses and 138 from personal care workers.

The government is seeking to lift this to 200 minutes (including 40 from registered nurses) from October and 215 minutes from late 2024.

For-profit and non-profit providers returned a collective net loss before tax of $465.3 million, or $27.90 per resident a day.

A new funding model is being rolled out as well as funding for 24/7 registered nurses and a pay hike for the aged care workforce.

“These changes will support the future of Australia’s aged care service providers’ finances and operations for the long term,” the minister said.

Topics: Aged Care
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