Catholic Health Australia has applauded the Albanese Government’s decision to establish a new aged care taskforce, describing it as a vital step towards resolving the great unanswered funding question left by the aged care royal commission.
CHA chair John Watkins has been appointed as a contributing member of the taskforce.
CHA’s aged care director Jason Kara said Mr Watkins would bring his experience and skill as well as the Catholic sector’s deep knowledge and history in health and aged care to the taskforce’s deliberations and commended the Government for tackling the issue of aged care funding head-on, rather than deferring or avoiding the difficult decisions that need to be made.
“Aged care funding is a thorny issue that previous governments have shied away from and we commend the Aged Care Minister [Anika Wells] for showing the courage to face it squarely,” Mr Kara said.
“The current model of aged care is clearly unsustainable and it is high time we addressed the elephant in the room.
“We also welcome the Minister’s commitment that the taskforce’s work will constitute an open and public conversation driven by experts to find innovative solutions to this challenge.
“The royal commission’s work was hugely important but it left unanswered the great question of how to fund the sector in the long term.
“Catholic Health Australia has long argued that those who can comfortably fund their own aged care should do so. As more Australians seek aged care services, it is unsustainable to continue requiring the taxpayer to fund the lion’s share of care for people who could afford it themselves.
“A more nuanced, comprehensive approach will create a fairer and more robust system that can ensure those doing it tough still receive quality aged care.