Following the release of the Tune report, the Government made new announcements for Home Care and My Aged Care. On 31 July 2017, Mr David Tune AO PSM provided the report of the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017, to the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP. The Minister tabled the report on 14 September 2017.
David Tune is the former Secretary of Finance. Furthermore he is the current chair of the Aged Care Sector committee. The five year review of Aged Care reforms led by him comes as part of the legislation passed in 2012. Older Australians wanting to live at home longer are set to benefit from these new announcements.
The report included 38 recommendations. Collectively, they build on reform progress to date, with key recommendations including:
- Giving all the people in residential care ownership of their packages. This will enable them to choose the best provider. Furthermore they can also transfer to another provider if they are not happy with the care.
- Increase access to home care packages, especially higher-level ones.
- Improve the capacity and ease of use of the My Aged Care website.
- Also improve the contact centre and assessment services online.
- Publishing comparable home service prices on the My Aged Care website.
- Meeting future demands of aged care by improving sustainability
- Provide consumer support services such as ‘System Navigators’ and ‘Outreach Services’ to help people connect to the aged care they need.
The Minister said ”The review is a “Comprehensive and important document that we will consider carefully. We support the overwhelming preference of older Australians to remain living in their homes and in their communities for as long as possible. A key message from the review is that ongoing engagement and collaboration with older people, their carers, families, care providers and aged care staff is vital to ensure we continue to deliver quality support and care. Our older Australians deserve nothing less.”
Additionally, the Minister said he is pleased to be announcing the 6,000 extra high need home care packages (Level 3 and 4). Furthermore, he announced a $20 million My Aged Care revamp following the review. “As Aged Care Minister, caring for [older Australians] is my top priority, and is a pillar of our government’s policy commitments”.
“The rollout of the 6,000 extra packages starts immediately and will continue right through this financial year because providing more support to the people who need it most is paramount.” he added.
According to the Minister, the initiative aims to speed up home care access for high-priority cases. Furthermore, it will dovetail with significant improvements to the My Aged Care information and care access system. “The $20 million revamp aims to streamline and shorten the assessment process by linking information and cutting red tape for consumers, providers and health professionals,” he says.
The full Tune Review can be found via the Department of Health’s website.
You can read the responses from Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) in our next article on the subject.