Aged care wants $1.5B for six months – on brink of collapse without bailout

Published on

Last Wednesday the aged care sector described itself as ‘desperate’ for cash, citing that 56% of all aged care homes are operating at a loss (70% in regional areas).

Seven peak bodies grouped together to ask for $1.5B short term cash.

They need it for:

  • $250m plus for home care (182 days at $10 per day for up to 150,000 people)
  • $546m for residential care (182 days at $15 per day for 200,000 people)
  • $500m pool of funds for information technology measures and training to reduce social isolation and loneliness
  • Plus, a workforce fund, to pay workers who need to isolate.

With many homes already struggling to remain viable before the pandemic, the heavy cost of keeping residents safe amid the crisis is making cash reserves run dangerously dry.

“We’ve got major liquidity issues in the sector,” Andrew Kingsley of Uniting Aged Care told ABC reporters. “One of the biggest concerns we’ve got is with regards to a drop-off in occupancy […] We anticipate that in the coming months, occupancy will decrease quite significantly.”

Ansell Strategic forecast the drain on RADs three weeks ago, producing this graph which predicts aged care insolvencies commencing mid May.

The $445 million bailout the sector received last month is not enough to keep service providers solvent during these unprecedented times, operators say.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Aged Care, Senator Richard Colbeck, says the government has “not forgotten” the industry. Six days later, there is no clear answer to the ‘desperate’ plea.