Catholic Health Australia has welcomed the Morrison Government’s boost to out of hospital care in the federal Budget but says an opportunity has been missed to tackle underlying financial pressures facing the residential aged care sector.
CHA said the reforms announced last night will pave the way for much-needed changes to the health sector and ensure more patients are able to be treated in their own homes.
CHA’s Out of Hospital Care in Australia – Advancing Health’s Missing Sector report released last month found current funding mechanisms prevented many private health patients from accessing hospital-level care in their home for services such as renal dialysis, mental health, post-natal services, palliative care, and chemotherapy.
CHA Health Policy Director James Kemp applauded the Government’s common-sense policy, which begins with mental health and orthopaedics from April 2021.
“This is a timely announcement and one that will be well-received by patients, their carers and clinicians across Australia. It means more of the right care in the right place at the right time and that is a great outcome for patients,” Mr Kemp said.
CHA said the residential aged care sector, however, needs an urgent injection of funding to tackle the “triple whammy” of declining revenues, rising costs and public expectations that standards need to rise.
It welcomed the announcement of $1.6 billion for 23,000 extra home care packages but said it will still leave 80,000 people on the waiting list.
CHA chief executive Pat Garcia said it was “disappointing that once again the aged care sector has largely been forgotten” in the Budget.
Catholic aged care services left disappointed by budget as industry continues to buckle under financial strain (Catholic Health Australia)
Catholic hospital sector welcomes Government move on out of hospital care (Catholic Health Australia)
Treasurer unveils 23,000 home care packages, extends mental health support (Sydney Morning Herald)