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Insight

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – Opportunity Lost?

Darrell Price
By:
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Many commentators described the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety as a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape the industry to meet the needs of older Australians now and into the future.
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To achieve this, consumers, workers, providers and suppliers expected the Royal Commission to develop a clear vision of the future of aged care, and a transition plan describing how the industry would be transformed from its current state.

But has the Royal Commission provided an articulated vision for the industry and a clear way forward that the Government can deliver on?

Key components including governance, regulation, workforce, financing, and other elements required to deliver quality services have been set out, but not to the level of detail required for a clear implementation plan.

What's missing is consideration of the various conflicting market pressures that shape the behaviour of the providers, particularly the relationship between approved providers and the regulators. If we want to get better outcomes for consumers, government policy needs to be cognizant of the mix of investors and sellers in the market and their legitimate drivers. In this short paper, we've attempted to illustrate the current issues and drivers the aged care sector is experiencing by considering consumer, labour and capital market forces.

There will need to be serious collaboration to create a clear framework that ensures the industry can be sustained over the longer term without compromising the demand for services. We believe the Government's ability to provide clear policy guidance and frameworks to providers starts here; in considering these conflicting market pressures.