Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!


Amid a sector-wide crisis in financial sustainability, Catholic Health Australia says aged care providers are still wondering when hundreds of millions of dollars of emergency COVID expenses will be reimbursed.

The Commonwealth Government introduced COVID-19 Support Grants to help providers control outbreaks in their facilities, protecting vulnerable residents and their families, and preventing transmission with the local community.

Catholic Health Australia’s aged care director Jason Kara said the aged care sector, at the frontline of the COVID response, responded strongly throughout the worst of the pandemic, with staff, consumers and their families working together to abide by strict rules to reduce infection risk.

“Unfortunately, we see that the Government has still not reimbursed expenditure from 2021/22 and 2022/23,” Mr Kara said.

“With around 70 per cent of residential homes running at a loss, age care providers cannot continue to be left out of pocket for COVID-related expenses.”

These expenses are impacting providers across the country, including Calvary Health Care, which has submitted around $55 million worth of COVID grant claims with only $5 million paid out.

Mr Kara said that it was bureaucracy that is holding up payments that could be done more efficiently and collaboratively.

“Bureaucracy has placed numerous barriers to reimbursing providers for their expenditure. This includes insisting on separate claims for each home and outbreak and multiple agencies querying the same claim,” Mr Kara said.

“We have a system that has almost been designed to fail. Claims worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are held up for months by the government agency querying a $100 test expenditure. Common sense tells us that this could be streamlined through paying the approved amount immediately and allowing further discussion on any small, disputed amounts to occur later.”


Aged Care providers say time’s up for government to reimburse COVID expenditure (Catholic Health Australia)


VIDEO: Aged care sector still waiting for COVID grants (ABC News)