Regis Chairman Graham Hodges urges Federal Government to consult on reforms

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Graham Hodges, Chairman of Regis Healthcare, has urged Federal Government to provide regular and detailed consultation to best implement major reforms of the sector.

“Only through working with the sector will these initiatives deliver the full benefits older Australians are expecting,” Mr Hodges told Regis’ AGM.

“There are still important policy gaps that need to be detailed by Government that impact the performance and sustainability of the sector. These include how the aged care sector can address critical workforce pressures, the establishment of baseline data and functioning of the Independent Pricing Authority and greater disclosure and consultation around the detailed inputs and methodology behind the AN-ACC or resident care funding model.

“This model is at the operational heart of the residential aged care sector’s capacity to provide quality care for residents while remaining financial sustainable. The funding model is expected to require more care hours and staff. Full government funding of these five elements will be essential to support a sector already financially stretched. While these funding reforms will not take full effect for another year, the commitment will be pivotal in signalling to the sector that it can confidently re-start new investment after several years of poor returns and market uncertainty.”

Regis delivered a net profit after tax was $19.9 million for FY21, as we reported in September. The 19.9% EBITDA is a stark contrast to the majority of the country’s 800 residential aged care operators, where approximately 60% are trading at a loss. Regis reduced debt over the 12 months from $236 million to $142 million, while maintaining their debt facilities.

Linda Mellors, MD and CEO, told the AGM it was planning for the future.

“(We) have projects ready to commence as conditions improve. This includes our new land acquisition in Belrose NSW. Looking forward, Regis will play an important role in providing new and contemporary homes that are attractive to our market,” she said.