The Federal Government is set to cut the Complex Health Care element of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) by $1.2 billion over four years in the 2016-17 Budget, on top of $750 million which was cut in December 2015. Independent modelling suggests the real impact of the cuts will more than $2.5billion.
UnitingCare Australia wants to work with the Federal Government to develop a more sustainable funding model that will support Australia’s ageing population and does not jeopardise the care of vulnerable older Australians.
What’s the impact?
Should the cuts go ahead, funding will be reduced for each newly admitted aged care resident, or those whose needs are reassessed, by an average of $6,655 per year, with a reduction in funding of up to $18,000 for older people with the most complex needs.
Critical health care needs such as wound and skin care, mobility needs, arthritis treatment and end of life care are under direct threat. Aged care services will also be limited in their capacity to deliver the level of care to meet the needs of residents, reducing their wellbeing and quality of life.
The cuts will also place more pressure on the already strained public hospitals as older people may face increased delays accessing residential aged care services.
The Federal Government cuts will be felt in communities all over Australia, however regional and remote aged care facilities are likely to be hit hardest. There is a very real threat that some facilities could be forced to close.
UnitingCare Australia is calling for these cuts to be stopped, so the Federal Government and the aged care sector can work together on a sustainable funding model.
They are seeking your help to stop the cuts to aged care:
- Send your local Member of Parliament an email asking them to stop the cuts.
- Tell your friends, family and colleagues about the cuts to aged care by clicking on the social media symbols below and posting this page to your site. Use the hashtag #stopthecuts
- Understand what these cuts will mean for vulnerable and sick older people by reading some real life case studies on the UnitingCare Australia website http://www.unitingcare.org.au/advocacy/ageing.
The Uniting Care Aged Care Network commissioned independent modelling by Ansell Strategic that revealed that the cuts were much larger than estimated by the Federal Government – with an impact of more than $2.5 billion over four years.