54,000 people on home care national queue with no support: LASA says $685M a year needed to meet demand

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Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)’s analysis says assuming the same split between package levels as for current clients, it will take $685 million a year to meet this existing demand even after the new home care packages (HCPs) announced for 2018-19 are considered.

This figure also doesn’t consider upgrading packages for people who have a package but one that is below the level they need – which represents around half of the 108,000 people currently on the queue – that is 50,000 waiting/needing an upgrade.

As we covered here, over 80% of those currently on the queue are waiting for the serious need level 3 or 4 HCP with waiting times for these packages stretching past 12 months.

In total, the queue has grown by over 30 per cent since the Government implemented its consumer choice reforms for home care back in February 2017.

The 2018-19 Budget will provide funding for 111,500 HCPs in 2018-19, an increase of 23,910 over 2017-18. It also promises funding for:

  • 134,500 in 2019-20 (up 23,000)
  • 144,500 in 2020-21 (up 10,000)
  • 151,500 in 2021-22 (up 7,000)

These figures indicate that the Government will never catch up with increasing demand.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney says the Government needs to look at developing a sustainable funding strategy for home care – including public and private funding levers.

The Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) has identified there was $329 million in unspent HCP funds at 30 June 2017.

Could this be a potential solution?