Federal government announces new aged care funding package

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The federal government has announced the details of a new $662 million package for senior Australias as hearings for the aged-care royal commission get underway.

Prime minister Scott Morrison announced $320 million for residential aged care and an additional 10,000 home care packages.

He said the $320 million residential aged care component equates to approximately $1,800 per permanent resident. Mr Morrison said the funding will provide additional support to the sector, over the next 18-months, while the government considers longer-term reform funding options.

“We need to have a culture of respect and care and that’s why I announced the Royal Commission into Aged Care. It’s why as Prime Minister and Treasurer I have delivered thousands of additional home care places,” said Mr Morrison.

“These places give older Australians the choice about how and where they want to live their lives.

“Older Australians have worked hard all their life, paid taxes and done their fair share, and they deserve our support.

“While we are delivering record aged care funding, Bill Shorten is raiding the savings of almost 1 million retirees.”

The funding provides $282.4 million for 10,000 home care packages across all levels and a $320 million general subsidy boost in 2018-19 for senior Australians receiving residential aged care services.

It also provides $4.2 million for the mandatory national aged care quality indicator program, $7.7 million to enhance the safety, quality and integrity of home care, $35.7 million to increase home care supplements for dementia and cognition and veterans, $4.6 million for a trial of a new residential care funding tool to replace the Aged Care Funding Instrument, and $7.4 million for a new business advisory service for both residential and home care providers to help them improve their operations and share best practice.

Health minister Greg Hunt said the new funding would provide more services and security.

“Older Australians deserve the best care and support and our Government is delivering choice,” he said.

“This funding ensures our older Australian have the support they need to live in their homes longer or provide significant support for the residential aged care sector.”

The mandatory national aged care quality indicator program for residential care includes an indicator on the use of physical restraint.