Courier-Mail slams PresCare for accepting $650K in Federal COVID-19 funding when homes potentially up for sale

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The News Corp paper has accused the Queensland Not For Profit of pocketing taxpayer funds for five aged care homes that it may sell as it reviews its operations.

The Courier-Mail has contacted the Department of Health which has confirmed PresCare will not be required to repay the money if it sells the homes.

“Financial support has been provided to ensure the continuity of care for residents,” their spokesperson said.

“These funds have been directed to the ongoing operational costs of maintaining residential facilities while navigating the impacts of COVID-19.”

“As such they do not constitute payments that would be repaid in the event of a sale or transfer.’’

As we reported yesterday, the Not For Profit has appointed McGrathNicol to advise on the sale of some of its non-core businesses and the possible sale and transfer of its aged care homes after years of million-dollar losses.

PresCare has not committed yet to any sale – but even so, as the Department pointed out, the funding was intended to support the providers – and their residents – through the pandemic.

Operators we speak to report that they have seen million-dollar hits to their income in the past few months thanks to reduced occupancy and higher costs.

As the latest StewartBrown report for the March quarter revealed last week, 60% of aged care operators now in the red.

Would you hand back the money?