Reforms to Aged Care Sector imminent in Australia
The federal government’s announcement about landmark reforms to home care in the 2015/16 Budget will very soon have a significant impact on Australian seniors.
It’s good news – as of March 2017, older Australians will be given the power to choose their aged care provider and providers will compete for business instead of receiving a government allocation of home care packages.
The reforms are the result of the Productivity Commission’s 2011 inquiry, which found that the aged care system suffers key weaknesses, including a high regulatory burden, lack of timely access to care and limited consumer choice.
The Increasing Choice in Home Care legislation is an important step in moving towards an aged care system which is more consumer-driven, market-based and less regulated.
One of the key results of the reform will be a consistent approach to prioritising access to Home Care Packages through the My Aged Care gateway (MAC). (Web site: www.myagedcare.com.au)
Home Care Packages help older Australians living at home access a range of clinical care, personal and support services to assist with their day-to-day living and activities.
For the average Australian senior, the reforms will usher in a much fairer means of accessing Home Care Packages which are tailored to meet their needs and circumstances.
Older Australians will be able to choose a provider that best meets their goals and needs and it will be easier for them to change providers, with funding for the package following the individual to their new provider.