Labor backs Federal Government to defer vital new Aged Care Bill

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The Federal Government’s much-touted second Aged Care Bill, which rolls out the new Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model in October, will not be passed by the current Parliament.

The Labor Party and the Coalition Government agreed to defer the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 2) Bill 2021 after Independent Senator Rex Patrick had successfully amended the bill to include a 24/7 registered nurse requirement at residential aged care homes as soon as the bill became law.

“What a disgrace,” said the Independent Senator.

Independent MP Rebekha Sharkie was more condemning.

“Because of this act of bastardry, millions of senior Australians will miss out on better aged care, a registered nurse 24/7 at aged care homes, and transparency to reveal provider spending.”

The decision to delay the bill until the new parliament puts the new funding model, AN-ACC, in doubt.

The Minister for Aged Care Services, Senator Richard Colbeck (pictured), said on 31 March there will be greater transparency and accountability on how residential care is funded as the sector moves towards the implementation of the new Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) model.

One of the Government’s key aged care announcements in the 2022 Budget was the announcement of the average AN-ACC figure, which will be set at $216.80 a day and was to start from 1 October – above the current ACFI average funding figure of around $188 a day.

Combined with the $10 a day increase in the Basic Daily Fee introduced last July, providers could have expected to receive around $225 per day under the new funding model.

A spokesman for Minister Colbeck said it is still possible to meet the AN-ACC funding timeframe in the next term of Parliament.

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