Catholic Health Australia, the nation's largest non-government provider of health and aged care services, has applauded the federal government's decision to establish a new aged care taskforce, describing it as a vital step toward resolving the great unanswered funding question left by the Aged Care Royal Commission.
CHA Chair John Watkins AM has been appointed as a contributing member of the taskforce.
Catholic Health Australia's Aged Care Director Jason Kara said Mr Watkins would bring his personal experience and skill as well as the Catholic sector’s deep knowledge and history in health and aged care to the taskforce's deliberations, and commended the government for tackling the issue of aged-care funding head-on, rather than deferring or avoiding the difficult decisions that need to be made.
"Aged care funding is a thorny issue that previous governments have shied away from and we commend the Aged Care Minister for showing the courage to face it squarely,” Mr Kara said.
"The current model of aged care is clearly unsustainable, and it is high time we addressed the elephant in the room.
"We also welcome the Minister's commitment that the taskforce's work will constitute an open and public conversation driven by experts to find innovative solutions to this challenge.
"The Royal Commission's work was hugely important, but it left unanswered the great question of how to fund the sector in the long term.
“Catholic Health Australia has long argued that those who can comfortably fund their own aged care should do so. As more Australians seek aged care services, it is unsustainable to continue requiring the taxpayer to fund the lion's share of care for people who could afford it themselves.
"A more nuanced, comprehensive approach will create a fairer and more robust system that can ensure those doing it tough still receive quality aged care.
"The federal government did commendable work in the budget to stabilise the aged care sector, but to set it up for the future we need a fundamentally different funding model.
"As a participant in this taskforce, Catholic Health Australia looks forward to contributing its expertise to the development of innovative, effective solutions."
About Catholic Health Australia: Catholic Health Australia is the largest non-government provider grouping of health, community, and aged care services in Australia. Committed to an equitable health system providing universal care to people of all backgrounds, ages, and social statuses, CHA seeks to innovate and influence policy discussions concerning health and aged care reform.
Charlie Moore: 0452 606 171