“Stop the horror stories”: Grattan Institute says needs of older Australians should trump profits of private providers

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Last week, the independent thinktank outlined three key areas for the Federal Government to target in yesterday’s Budget – now the same authors have released a report blasting the privatisation of Australia’s aged care.

The 42-page ‘Rethinking aged care: emphasising the rights of older Australians’ report points to the need for personalised care plans and more funding for Home Care packages and social supports – all ideas already highlighted by the Royal Commission.

But while more funding is needed, the authors say a radical overhaul of the system is needed to focus on older Australians’ human rights.

In particular, the report slams the marketisation of aged care and the lack of regulation of For Profit providers.

The Government – and the wider community – also comes in for criticism with the Government’s poor commitment to aged care attributed to society’s ageist attitudes.

“The horror stories from the Royal Commission into aged care and from the COVID-19 aged care crisis have to stop,” lead author and Grattan Institute Health Program Director Stephen Duckett said.

“More money and different regulation are both necessary, but won’t be enough. Australia needs to fundamentally change the culture of its aged care system.”

The paper suggests five key rights-based principles should shape the system:

  • Independence, self-fulfillment, and participation in community
  • Informed and supported choice and control
  • Universal access to reasonable and necessary supports
  • Equity and non-discrimination
  • Dignity, including dignity in death

However, there are few practical suggestions on how this could be achieved.

The authors say they will follow up with a second report detailing how Australia can build a rights-based aged care system.

This new report will need to be more gripping than the first to grab the Government’s attention however.

You can download the report here.