Catholic Health Australia has welcomed the Morrison Government’s additional funding for home care packages but says future reform and funding needs to address a looming workforce shortfall to care for older Australians.
The Commonwealth will fund a further 10,000 home care packages for older Australians at a cost of $850 million, as announced in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook yesterday.
With some 100,000 people still on the home care waiting list, though, Catholic Health Australia chief executive Pat Garcia notes there is a long path ahead.
“The Morrison Government, to its credit, has recognised the yawning gap between seniors seeking home care and the packages available,” Mr Garcia said.
“At every opportunity available, the Morrison Government has increased the number of packages available.
“(The) funding announcement will change the lives of many older Australians and their families who will be able to live with greater comfort and security in their own homes. However, it is important we recognise that leaves around 100,000 older Australians still languishing without the support they require. As a nation we can and must do better.”
Mr Garcia said all eyes will be on next year’s Commonwealth Budget, which will be handed down in the wake of the aged care royal commission’s final report in February. In its interim report, the commission noted that the “aged care sector is grappling with how to attract, train, retain and sustain its workforce”.
“As part of any additional funding measures we need new initiatives to grow, upskill and value our aged care workforce,” Mr Garcia said.
MYEFO Home Care Packages welcome but pressure remains on Budget to address workforce shortfalls (Catholic Health Australia)