LASA seeks a merger but ACSA reluctant

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Peak body Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) has again raised the prospect of merging with the alternate peak body Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA).

LASA chairman Dr Graeme Blackman says “the lack of an influential, unified voice in aged services continues to harm us in producing stronger advocacy to government and stakeholders.”

LASA was established in April 2012 after a failed attempt to bring together the representation of private and not for profit aged care operators under the ACSA umbrella. Key large and small not for profit operators saw a conflict in their missions and the commercial drivers of private operators.

For instance Chief executive of HammondCare Dr Stephen Judd was quoted in AAA: “If you reverse engineer some of the recently published data you arrive at some amazing net profit margins from providers who are not at the ‘top end’. Now, I am probably missing something but the only way I reckon you can arrive at such net margins is to have skinny staffing and minimal support services. Are we being expected to sign up to that “profit before people” image of aged care? Count me out.”

ACSA president Vaughan Harding (pictured) has ruled out a merger at this stage as the ACSA members have not indicated they have an interest. ACSA’s priority is moving from a state based federated model to a unified national body which commences this July.