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Priority groups must be protected under new home care system

Posted 10 November 2015

The Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) has today emphasised the need to ensure priority groups with specific care needs don’t fall through the cracks following the introduction of the new home care reforms.

In responding to the Commonwealth Government’s Increasing Choice in Home Care discussion paper, the VHA has raised concerns regarding the viability of specialised care services to priority groups under a competitive market-based model.

VHA CEO Tom Symondson said he welcomed the opportunity to contribute to shaping the new home care model and said it was crucial service providers that offer appropriate services to priority cohorts are supported to be viable following the introduction of a free-market model.

“Providing services to groups with specific and often complex needs requires specialist skills and knowledge, community networks, additional time and extra expense for providers, for example the use of translators,” Mr Symondson said.

“Under the new consumer-allocated package model specialised care providers may be challenged to remain viable given their services are targeted at specific and sometimes dispersed populations. This risk will be made even greater without payments to match the cost of the additional consumer complexities experienced by priority groups.

“It would be disastrous if these service providers were forced to close their doors and people with diverse and specialised needs were unable to access appropriate care where they live.

“Following the transition to the new home care model specialised care providers must be supported to engage with and deliver services to these priority groups who can be vulnerable to getting lost in the system and not receiving the right care in the right place at the right time.

“Alternate service planning and flexible funding models must be part of the new model to ensure specialist providers can continue to deliver care to those who need it within the new system.”

Read the VHA submission to the Increasing Choice in Home Care discussion paper

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

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