System needs 'fundamental reset'

Professor Brendan Murphy (ABC News/Matt Roberts)

The head of the federal health department, Brendan Murphy, has conceded that funding of the country’s aged care system requires a “fundamental reset”. Source: The Guardian.

Appearing at the Royal Commission into Aged Care on Friday, Professor Murphy, who was appointed department secretary in July after serving as the country’s chief medical officer, gave evidence on the sector’s funding model. He opened by saying the department was “aligned with the royal commission” in believing the sector “does need a fundamental reset”.

In March the senior counsel assisting the commission, Peter Gray QC, made submissions arguing funding for residential and home aged care as well as support services should move to a single, demand-driven eligibility assessment process based on need.

Currently, the number of subsidised aged care places in Australia is controlled by an aged care provision ratio which decides how many places of residential or home aged care support will be funded for people over 70

Professor Murphy said the department agreed funding for the sector should move to a demand-driven system underpinned by a “rigorous assessment process”, and that is “appropriately and transparently” funded.

The royal commission has heard evidence of wide-spread failings in the sector. In August, it criticised the Morrison Government for failing to establish independent monitoring and reporting of aged care quality outcomes, and earlier this month it heard evidence from the sector regulator that it lacked the resources to fully conduct compliance checks on residential facilities.


Australia’s aged care system needs ‘fundamental reset’, Brendan Murphy tells inquiry (By Michael McGowan, The Guardian)

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