COTA and five leading advocacy groups speak up – 10 key points for ​aged care future

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Two weeks before the Federal Government is due to release its delayed Budget in a first for the consumer advocates, COTA Australia, Carers Australia, Dementia Australia, the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia, National Seniors Australia and the Older Persons Advocacy Network have released yesterday a list of 10 key principles for aged care.

We spoke to COTA Australia CEO Ian Yates yesterday. He said: “Time and time again, Governments have failed to deliver. We need a quantum shift, not incremental additions to the Budget.”

In summary, they are:

  1. A better Aged Care Act.
  2. A simple system where care is guaranteed within 30 days.
  3. Full transparency and easy to understand indicators to help inform consumer choice.
  4. A trained, registered and qualified workforce.
  5. Proper recognition and support for the role of unpaid family/friend carers.
  6. Easy to understand information and local solutions.
  7. A strongly resourced regulator that takes robust action to ensure consumer protections.
  8. Services that are inclusive, culturally safe and sensitive.
  9. A funding model that ensures sufficient taxpayer funding, control by consumers over their funding, independent pricing and transparency in how funds are spent.
  10. Better integration of other health and wellbeing services with aged care.

You can read the full list here.

The COTA CEO says the time to overhaul the system is now.

“Our message is similar to the Royal Commission,” he said. “This is not a time for incremental change.”

“The focus needs to be on strengthening consumer choice and quality of life.”

Mr Yates says he expects to see major investment in home care, action on workforce development and additional resourcing and powers for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) – but their package highlights the need for more to be done.

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