Aged care reform - bipartisan support needed
The aged care sector today called on the Opposition to support the hard won reform of Australia’s aged care system outlined in the Federal Budget.
The 28 organisations of the National Aged Care Alliance, representing seniors, workers, service providers and health professionals said the Opposition must uphold their previous commitment to support reform.
COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates said the need for reform was too great to be hampered by party politics.
“The whole sector has commended the Gillard Government for finally putting aged care back on the agenda and working with us to come up with the foundations for a better system,” Mr Yates said.
“The ball is now in the Opposition’s court.
“They have previously indicated that they would support a sensible reform package, acknowledging the huge pressures on the current system and the imperative to plan for the looming ageing population.
“We will be keenly watching the Budget Right of Reply and Joe Hockey’s response to the proposed reforms.”
National Director of UnitingCare Australia, Lin Hatfield-Dodds said older Australians deserved bipartisanship on this issue.
“For many years the fundamental and radical changes needed to improve aged care has been put off,” Ms Hatfield-Dodds said.
“In the meantime the sector has watched the system move closer and closer to breaking point.
“We can’t wait any longer for real and lasting improvement. The wants and needs of older Australians must be a priority for all sides of politics.
“While the Government’s package isn’t perfect and the details still need to be negotiated, it will set us on the right path and we need bipartisan support to ensure it is implemented in the long term.”
Sue Lines, Assistant Secretary, United Voice said hundreds of thousands of aged care staff would be keenly awaiting the Opposition response.
“Hard working aged care workers have finally been given some hope that their work will be recognised through the Workforce Compact,” Ms Lines.
“They can only hope the Opposition do the right thing and support this critical measure.”
10 May 2012.