Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Mar-Apl 2013 Contents Business innovation
We all knew 2013 would
be an 'election year'
but what few political
was that the election
date -- 14 September -- would be set in
late-January, marking the longest lead up
to an election since 1943.
Announced with the purpose of creating
business certainty, knowledge of an early
date was meant to put business minds at
ease so they know what's coming and when.
But the Prime Minister's move has been
criticised as doing just the opposite. Some
finance spectators predict businesses and
money markets will sit still until, at the
least, the release of the 2013/14 Federal
Budget in May, and at the most, the
It's early days yet. But, AAA has solicited
preliminary policy responses, related to
business innovation in the sector, from
Australia's three major political parties.
The following are our questions and
AAA: What policies/initiatives does
your political party propose to enhance
business innovation opportunities
in the aged care sector or encourage
businesses to become more
competitive and consumer-driven?
Minister for Mental Health and
Ageing, Mark Butler: "AAA readers
will be familiar with the Living Longer.
Living Better aged care reforms. A
number of measures in the package are
specifically designed to drive innovation
while at the same time providing greater
choice for consumers.
"A key feature of the reforms is the
introduction of consumer-directed care
(CDC) in all new home care packages
from 2013. We expect the CDC model
to drive a more flexible approach to
the provision of care with consumer
preferences driving cultural change.
"Of course with almost $1 billion being
pumped into the home care system to
deliver 40,000 new home care places, there
is a strong incentive for organisations to
adapt to the new environment. Beyond the
initial focus on CDC in home care, it will
also be trialled in residential care.
"Acknowledging the need for continued
investment to encourage collaboration and
connections between the health and aged
care system, we are investing $80.2 million
over five years to fund a range of initiatives.
These include grants to develop models
of service which will remove barriers such
as regulatory road blocks, making primary
health care more accessible and increasing
"There are opportunities for the
Community Visitors Scheme to take a
more innovative approach and we will
be expanding the scheme to leverage
off new technology, allow group visits
and target CALD, LGBTI, veterans and
Minister Butler says the Aged Care
Gateway will "revolutionise" access and
the provision of information for older
people and the aged care sector; the Aged
Care Financing Authority will also review
current extra service arrangements with
a view to allowing more innovation in
the industry; and a review of specified
care and services will enable residential
providers to differentiate themselves
by offering optional extra services for
residents for an additional fee.
"Living Longer. Living Better was
designed to enhance business innovation
and to build an aged care system that
is ready for the challenges of the 21st
century and I know organisations and
individuals will take advantage of the
opportunities it presents."
Shadow Minister for Ageing,
Senator Fierravanti-Wells: "We
will negotiate an Aged Care Provider
Agreement with the aged care sector. This
first ever Aged Care Provider Agreement,
will set the framework for ageing and aged
care arrangements in Australia over the
next four years and into the future.
"Taking into account the Productivity
Commission's Caring for Older Australians
report, we will reduce needless bureaucracy
and give the sector the flexibility and
certainty it needs while making sure the
sector remains focused on high quality care."
Australian Greens spokesperson on
ageing, Senator Rachel Siewert: "Our
primary policy focus is to ensure quality
aged care for people across the community.
"The Greens recognise the importance
What's in it
The next federal budget
will be announced in
May and soon, political
parties will start
campaigning for your
September 14 vote.
But what will all the
'politics' do for your
line? Yasmin Noone
talks business innovation
policies with the pollies.
30 | MARCH -- APRIL 2013 | AAA
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