by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australian Ageing Agenda OLD : Australian Ageing Agenda
www.australianageingagenda.com.au PUBLISHED BY: The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd ABN 9400 25836 82 Unit 39, 100 Harris St, Pyrmont NSW 2009 Australia Ph: 02 9660 2113 Fax: 02 9660 4419 Web: www.intermedia.com.au MANAGING DIRECTOR: Simon Grover PUBLISHER: Mark Kuban EDITOR: Keryn Curtis DEPUTY EDITOR: Tim Dixon ADVERTISING MANAGER: Carmella Rowsthorne GRAPHIC DESIGN: Leanne Hogbin PRODUCTION MANAGER: Jill Lehmann HEAD OF CIRCULATIONS: Chris Blacklock email@example.com ph 1800 651 422 Average Net Distribution per issue 9,662 Period ending September 30th, 2009 CAB Publisher Statement Copyright All material in this publication is copyright to the publisher and/or its contributors. No material may be reproduced without the express permission of the publishers. Disclaimer This publication is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (the "Publisher"). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, per- son or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher's endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent en- quiries as to the accuracy of the informa- tion before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are ex- pressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequen- tial damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or dam- ages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2010 - The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd. Industry news Rudd announces aged care reforms AGED CARE LEADERS welcomed aspects of Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd's announcement on April 12th concerning aged care reforms but have warned that the measures fall short of addressing the fundamental problems threatening the long-term sustainability of the sector. The announcement sees the Commonwealth taking full responsibility for the provision and regulation of all aged and community services and includes a range of measures totalling $739 million. On the agenda are 5,000 new aged care beds, including $300 million in zero real interest rate loans to providers to create 2,500 aged care places and $120 million specifically to fund 286 sub- acute care beds in rural areas. It also includes incentives worth $96 million for GPs to provide increased services in aged care facilities. A further $263 million will be spent to improve access to aged care services through 'one-stop shops'. A GOOD START CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Greg Mundy, said that while the initiatives announced by the Prime Minister are a good starting point, they do not address the underlying problems hampering the provision of quality services in community and residential care. "Funding must meet the real costs of providing care and services. Currently the subsidies fall well short of the mark. The Conditional Adjustment Payment should be reinstated as a way of making sure annual funding more closely matches the cost of providing the care older people need." He said he expected in the immediate short term that the Government would use the Federal Budget as a means to address the crippling financial concerns of the aged care sector. However, Mundy said the Prime Minister's first announcement of the morning- that all aged care services would be taken over by the Commonwealth -- was significant because it clears the way for further reforms. "The Commonwealth takeover of all services is one of our five big, strategic objectives because it is the key to further reforms. It's too difficult trying to agree on major issues when you are dealing with the Commonwealth and all the individual States and their separate interests," he said. UNREALISTIC CALCULATIONS Aged Care Association of Australia's CEO, Rod Young, agreed that the handing over of state-run Home and Community Care (HACC) services to the Commonwealth was an excellent initiative with additional funding for GPs also welcome. However, Mr Young questioned some of the calculations used by the government in budgeting the package. Pointing to the $300 million in zero real interest loans to build 2,500 new places, he said the government's calculations were based on an estimated cost of $120,000 per place. "In the last (Aged Care Approvals) Rounds, the lowest figure I heard was $120,000 and there were concerns being expressed about whether that provider would be able to make it. But in one instance, for a provider in a remote location, it was as much as $300,000," said Young. "The average cost is closer to $200,000 now but the costs of building in remote and rural locations can be much higher than that." ZERO INTEREST LOANS NOT THE SOLUTION Catholic Health Australia's (CHA) CEO, Martin Laverty has also expressed concern that the announced measures in themselves will not address the shortage of aged care places, saying that without fundamental regulatory reform there will be a growing shortfall in the number of beds available for older Australians who need care. "Even with new beds, the underlying issues that prevent aged care operators from growing remain in place. Zero-interest loans are not the solution: unless there is fundamental regulatory reform, any new facilities built with those loans will start losing money the minute the new bed is occupied by a resident." "The aged care funding mechanisms created by the Howard Government are out of date and inflexible; the Rudd Government should abandon them. Until they are fixed, every high care bed operates at a loss of $13 every day," Mr Laverty said. CHA, ACSA and ACAA all said they looked forward to hearing the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission inquiry into aged care which, at the time of printing, was yet to be released. n See AAA's news feature on page 12 for more analysis. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd 6|MAY--JUNE2010|AAA upfront