Fix Community Care
"The aged and community care sector is part way through progressive implementation of reforms that commenced in 2013 in response to the findings of the Productivity Commission. The reforms had the aim of improving the affordability, sustainability and quality of aged care services, including by moving towards a more consumer-driven and market-based aged care industry where older people and their families have greater choice and control over the services they receive.
"The 2017 review of those reforms found progress towards a more consumer driven aged care system but also recognised that further reform was required in information, assessment, consumer choice, means testing and equity of access. Significant changes to Australia’s aged care quality regulatory processes and structures are underway as is the implementation of action to address longstanding workforce challenges".
Quoted from The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety's Navigating the Maze: An Overview of Australia’s Current Aged Care System.
These reforms are having a profound impact on councils, which historically have funded and delivered a suite of complex and highly integrated community care services in response to the diverse needs of ageing citizens. The tight fiscal environment within which local government now operates along with the changes to the program design, funding and regulation of community care are resulting in councils reviewing their future roles and responsibilities.
At all times we have strongly recommended the Commonwealth build on the existing well-functioning Victorian approach to community care which has ensured funding for and supply of a comprehensive suite of services that are place based and responsible for meeting the diverse needs of all older people in a defined geographical area. In addition, councils have been stewards of the service system - monitoring the nature and scope of demand, facilitating partnerships and strategically planning for, procuring and evaluating services.
- Establish a formal National Partnership Agreement on community care supported by Bilateral Agreements with the States and Territories.
- Ensure an evidence-based approach informs the funding for and supply of services and that these be place-based and responsible for meeting the diverse needs of all older people in a defined geographical area.
- Retain block funding on a price/volume basis which ensures that differing and variable needs of clients are met within a funding envelope.
- Reinstate annual growth funding for and roll the funding allocation to Level 1 Home Care Packages into the Commonwealth Home Support Program.
- Continue Commonwealth and State/Territories investment in local government to support councils to act as effective public sector stewards at the local level.
- Create a new funding stream for service navigation and coordination.
- Strengthen wellness and reablement approaches in program guidelines.
Join the campaign
Councils are encouraged to:
- Write to or meet with local federal Members of Parliament to advise of the implications arising from the reform agenda on their ageing constituents, carers and families as well as the consequences arising for council.
- Use the campaign logo on your advocacy documents and social media posts.