Minister for Aged Care Services calls for “innovation” from operators in reform process

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Following Tuesday’s Budget speech by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, there was a post-Budget Health Portfolio webinar featuring a Q & A with Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Senator Richard Colbeck – and there were several important messages.

Minister Colbeck (pictured right) made it very clear that the Government is looking for innovation from operators in the wake of the Royal Commission reforms.

He pointed to the discontinuation of the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) from July 2024 as a prime example.

While the Government is proposing a number of programs to support aged care facilities in rural and regional Australia where markets are thin, he said the Government also hoped to see some innovation in the delivery of services, for example, operators taking up the Commissioners’ recommendation for small-scale congregate living models.

The Minister also defended the omission of funding for allied health services in residential care, saying the allied health measures introduced by the Government during COVID would continue.

He pledged that these measures would continue, while the reforms through the integration of the health and aged care system and more supports for visiting GPs would also increase capacity.

Interestingly, when asked about when the Government would deliver its formal response to the Aged Care, both Ministers held up the Budget papers and maintained ‘this is it!’

It turned out that was not it – see the next story.