101,500 older people were waiting for packages while 41,000 had packages that did not meet their needs, according to the Department of Health’s quarterly report to September 2017.
It’s being driven by demand for level 3 and 4 packages – around 79,000 people are on the queue for a high-level package.
The Government did convert 6,000 lower level packages to Level 3 and 4 back in September to try to address the shortfall, but the queue still grew by more than 22,000 people between April and October 2017.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt told the ABC the current situation was caused by budget pressures and an underestimation of demand following the 27 February home care reforms.
“Up until February 2017, we had no idea of the number of people waiting for placements … within aged care,” he said.
As we reported here last week, the Federal Government invested $17.4B in aged care last FY, but 70% of funding went to residential care.