No respite on reforms for aged care providers post-election – will we see a further exodus of leaders from the sector?

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With aged care proving to be a hot-button topic with voters ahead of the 21 May Federal Election, operators can expect that the pace of reforms to the sector will only speed up under the new Government, regardless of the political side that takes the day.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, gave some telling insights into how the Morrison Government plans to progress the Royal Commission reforms post-election this week during a discussion with departing COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates.

In short, don’t expect a break from the rapid pace of change.

While acknowledging that the Government’s reform program is “ambitious”, the Minister was clear that the Government needed to take advantage of the vision set down by the Commissioners.

“We need to maintain the momentum that all of the publicity around that has driven,” he stated.

Singled out among the areas to be targeted post-election were further reducing home care wait times, growing the aged care workforce and getting the new Independent Hospital and Pricing Authority up and running.

At the same time, Labor has made aged care a key pillar of its pitch to voters, promising to bring forward reforms such as 24/7 Registered Nurses and improved food and nutrition standards.

No matter which party comes out on top next Saturday, residential care and home care operators will face a continued increase in the rollout of reforms – and you have to ask: how many of the executives expected to lead these changes will still be here in three years’ time?

During the Aged Care Royal Commission, we forecast at least a 60% turnover in the number of senior executives across the sector within the next five years.

Operators we speak with say they have never seen so many changes at the executive level.

The question is: are those middle management ranks prepared to step into the breach – or should boards be looking outside the sector for new leaders?

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