Fears for local jobs as Home and Community Care program becomes national in 2019

MORE than 240 people could lose their jobs if the rollout of aged-care services is stripped from Moreland Council.


But the workers will be safe until the Home and Community Care (HACC) program transitions to a national aged-care system in 2019.

HACC services include meals on wheels, emergency relief, social support, home visits and home maintenance.

There are 3250 HACC clients in Moreland and 245 staff.

The HACC program will become funded solely by the Federal Government to reduce red tape and streamline reporting.

It comes after local, state and federal governments agreed to the changes in 2012 as part of the agreement on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

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The new program will be called the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and includes HACC, the former National Respite for Carers Programme, the Day Therapy Centres Programme and the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Programme.

From July 1 this year, funding will come from the Federal Government but councils will remain as service providers until 2019 when CHSP goes out to tender.

Moreland Council could keep the services by putting in a tender, but is still determining if it could be competitive. The council already supplements the HACC program with $4.8 million each year.

Mayor Samantha Ratnam said the council wanted to continue providing aged care services.

“However, the Commonwealth Government is changing the system for funding and accreditation and we are very worried about the implications.”

Federal Government Department of Health spokesman Neil Branch said the changes did not have to mean job losses.

“Any decisions in relation to staffing and reduced services is a matter for the service provider and is not a result of the transition,” he said.

He said a “smooth transition” would be ensured.


Read more at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/north-west/fears-for-local-jobs-as-home-and-community-care-program-becomes-national-in-2019/news-story/13c84250e2069040afcf5bce97cd21da

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