Early in 2013 the Labor Government made wide ranging changes to the Australian Aged Care system implementing changes based on recommendations from a Productivity Commission Report.But with statistics showing that by 2050 almost a quarter of Australians will be 65 and over, and more than 3 million will need aged care, politicians are being urged to prioritise the needs of older Australians in the lead up to the election with aged care groups saying the next government must embrace further reforms.
While the full detail of the coalition aged care policy is yet to be announced, when questioned about whether it would implement the Productivity Commission recommendations, Mr Abbott said that the coalition had no plans for any further significant changes to the system that the Labor Government has put in place.
Mr Abbott said that ‘essentially the coalition policy is all about reducing paperwork that aged care providers face because if they’re spending less time doing bureaucracy they’ll have more time and more money to spend on providing better care’.
The Aged Care Act and accompanying Principles that regulate the Aged Care Sector are large and complex and it will be interesting to see what changes the coalition would take to reduce the regulatory burden on providers.
When asked if Labor foresaw any further changes to its policy Mr Rudd stated that ‘because this is a growing challenge for the nation, this must be kept under continue review’.
It remains to be seen what, if any, either party would make if elected, however it seems that despite the lobbying from aged care groups, aged care will not be a strongly debated issue leading up to the September 7 poll.