Wealthier Australians should contribute more for their aged care to make sure providers can remain open and the sector can survive to provide for those who can least afford it, says Catholic Health Australia.
CHA is calling on the Albanese Government to include housing wealth in means testing and allow providers to set their own daily fees.
In its pre-budget submission, CHA notes the aged care sector is under severe financial pressure, with 70 per cent of residential homes running at a loss in the third quarter of 2022.
According to modelling commissioned by CHA, the aged care sector needs a capital investment of $48 billion by 2030 to provide enough places for our ageing population – but CHA argues that not all of this should come from taxpayers when wealthy Australians who receive care can afford to contribute more.
Catholic Health Australia chief executive Pat Garcia said financial reforms are urgently needed to prevent the aged care sector from collapse.
“Aged care homes are straining under the weight of inflation and COVID-19 costs while facing long-term financial headwinds as our nation ages,” Mr Garcia said.
“The sector needs huge investment and there are two places it could come from: government coffers or increased user contributions from those who can afford to pay. Taxpayers already provide approximately 75 per cent of funding for residential aged care, and this contribution has grown at roughly double the pace of consumer contributions over the last decade.
“Given the median value of an Australian home today is about $1 million, the outdated means test cap of under $200,000 means the Government is turning a blind eye to a staggering amount of money.
“Asking users to contribute more makes logical sense and has support from the aged care sector. If we are to continue to care for our older Australians, then it is fair that we have to dig deep into our accumulated wealth now and not sheet the bill home to future generations.”
Call for wealthy to pay more for aged care (The Australian)