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Aged care boardroom briefing with Federal Minister highlights opportunities and challenges for the sector.
In 2016 there were 3.7 million Australians aged 65 and over – about 15% of the population. By 2056 there could be as many as 8.7 million older Australians – equating to 22% of the population. This upward trend is expected to continue with implications for the economy, our healthcare system and our aged care providers.
To explore this topic, Grant Thornton and Commonwealth Bank of Australia hosted an executive boardroom breakfast with the Honourable Ken Wyatt, Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health on Thursday, 14 June.
Minister Wyatt explained what the benefits are for residents and providers across the aged care sector with an additional $5B investment from the May federal budget. Those benefits include increased home care packages, more funding for mental health, and enhancement of the My Aged Care website – initiatives that are very much welcomed by the sector.
Guests of the breakfast endorsed the generous budget that will help the industry. Though there remain some concerns. Those concerns are around the potential replacements for the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) – specifically that uncertainty around ACFI is de-incentivising current investment where any replacement reduces the amount of money available to the sector for the delivery of care. There are also concerns that care responses may be diminished and quality compromised.
“The resoundingly clear message from the room is that aged care providers are passionate about delivering the best care possible, for every person, in every bed, every day,” said Darrell Price, National Head of Health & Aged Care for Grant Thornton Australia.
Grant Thornton is supporting providers in how we translate additional funds from the budget to an investment cycle that will not only create more beds for residents and consumers but also greater degrees of workforce improvement.