Fed Govt funding for residential care grows by just $500M in 12 months: Productivity Commission

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Despite committing $17.7 billion to the aged care sector over the next four years in its Royal Commission response, the Morrison Government has delivered little in the way of increased funding in the past year according to a new report.

The Productivity Commission’s annual Report on Government Services – which looks at the Government’s performance on the delivery of services to the community – shows that Government spending on residential aged care increased to $15.1 billion, up from $14.6 billion – or $500 million.

Home care fared better with the Government spending $7.8 billion in 2020-21, compared with $6.8 billion the previous year – a 14.7% increase.

However, the report also highlighted that long waiting times remain for Home Care Packages, with the average wait for a Level 1 Package sitting at six up to 15 months for a Level 3.

In total, aged care spending was $23.6 billion in 2020-21 – $5,385 per person – a rise from $21.5 billion in the previous financial year.

Wait times for residential care also increased with only 41.1% of older Australians entering residential care within three months of an ACAT approval.

Overall, the median elapsed time was 163 days, an increase from 148 days in 2019-20 and more than the 152 days recorded in 2018-19.