Linda Bardo Nicholls, Japara Chairman, explains funding facts and nurse levels

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Considering the responsibility to deliver care in a climate of ongoing funding restrictions, Linda Bardo Nicholls’ AGM address is worth reading – here is part of it.

“Aged care is one of the most if not the most heavily regulated businesses in Australia”.

“Whether the operator is a listed company, a private business or a not-for-profit organisation, the government regulates bed licenses, facilities accreditation, employee qualifications, daily care fees, clinical care funding and accommodation pricing”.

“This span of control is not new. What is new is the wide and growing gap between the costs of care, the number of aged needing care and the indexation of regulated funding for the provision of care”.

“Aged care industry representatives have identified a disconnect between what the community expects in terms of care and what the government is prepared to fund providers to deliver. I would add that there is a growing mismatch between the care residents need, the service quality the community expects and government funding”.

“At Japara we are in the business of caring for the aged, not just in the aged care business. That means stepping up to meeting residents care needs and community expectations. Does that cost more? Yes”.

“Over 90% of our residents have high care needs and the majority are living with dementia. That reflects why our staff costs are high – the difference between a registered nurse and a personal care worker or nursing assistant is around $20 – $30 an hour – and Japara continues to have a registered nurse on every shift in every home”.