Funding cuts aim at most vulnerable

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08 Jul 2016

In its 2016/17 budget, the Federal Government announced a claw-back of more than $1.8 billion from the most vulnerable people in residential care over the next four years. CEO Ray Glickman explains the potential impact of the cuts.

Severe funding cuts announced in the federal budget are focusing on people in residential care with Complex Health Care (CHC) needs: for example, those with chronic pain, degenerative disease, severe arthritis and complex wounds.

This is being done through changes to the assessment tool used to calculate funding. In effect, it means that, from January 2017, the amount allocated to a newly assessed person with CHC needs will drop from $66+ per day to as little as $16 – a 75% drop.

The impact on aged care

The impact on aged care, and WA’s ageing population, is potentially quite serious. Care providers will be unable to deliver comprehensive complex health care without making substantial cuts elsewhere. Some may be unable to admit CHC people at all, and many may not be able to afford allied health led pain treatments.

The impact on the hospital system

Hospitals, already under strain, will be under pressure to admit an increasing number of older people with health conditions that can no longer be managed by aged care providers. At the same time, providers may no longer be able to accept referrals from hospital of patients with CHC needs.

The impact on Amana Living

Amana Living is committed to maintaining a consistently high quality of care, so none of our residents will be adversely affected. Currently, we have the staffing and expertise to treat residents with CHC needs, and to keep many of them out of hospital.

The impact will be felt if we have insufficient funds to provide care for those with CHC needs who want to come to us after the changes are implemented. In this case, we may not be able to accept them into our care, which could result in their admission to hospital instead.

What can be done

We are supporting the national industry campaign urging the Government to put the changes on hold until they have conducted an independent review of funding and the true cost of care. You can help by lobbying your local MP with the same demands.

Without a reversal of this decision, there will be some tough decisions to make. However, I reiterate our commitment to our residents, whose care will not be affected

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