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Milestone for future of home care provides 3-year certainty

Posted 17 September 2015

Thursday 17 September 2015

Victorian consumers and health service providers finally have some certainty as a major milestone was reached for the Victorian introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the transition of home and community care services provided to older people.

The State and Commonwealth have signed a bilateral agreement which outlines how the NDIS will be rolled out across Victorian and how home and community care services (HACC) for people aged over 65 will transfer from Victoria to the Commonwealth.

Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) CEO Tom Symondson said Victoria is a national leader in delivering innovative, holistic, integrated care in the community and it is essential the strengths of Victoria’s home and community care services are maintained.

“The transition agreement provides consumers, health services and communities with certainty that for the three years from 1 July 2016, HACC service providers will receive funding at their current levels so that they can continue delivering high quality care to people in their homes,” Mr Symondson said.

“The agreement also includes a commitment to support ongoing service development enabling Victorian HACC service providers to innovate and improve the service delivery system; a feature of Victoria’s HACC program that underpins its success.

“We are very pleased this agreement ensures there will be continuity of care for older people accessing HACC services in the immediate future but we need to ensure the quality of Victoria’s HACC program is protected when the transition phase concludes and the Commonwealth assumes full responsibility.

“It is also important that those people under 65 who currently receive HACC services and will not be eligible for the NDIS do not fall through the cracks; that they continue to receive the care they need to both improve their current quality of health and, where possible, prevent them from needing acute care down the track.

“These are the kind of questions that have been looming over the sector and consumers for some time and I am sure the sector will take some solace in having some of those questions answered this week with the signing of this agreement.”

About Victoria’s home and community care program

Victoria provides twice the level of key HACC services in rural areas, compared with the national average. Victoria provides more hours of service and number of services to more people than any other state. Over 300,000 people in Victoria receive a service funded by the HACC Program in a year.

Home and community care services include assessment and care management, domestic assistance, personal care, planned activity groups, respite care, food services (delivered and centre-based meals), property maintenance, allied health and therapy services.

Media contact: Rachel White – 0438 815 561 rachel.white@vha.org.au

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