Aged care reform package introduced

August 8, 2022

On Wednesday 27 July, the Australian Government introduced an aged care legislative package to Parliament, consisting of the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Bill Number 2 and the Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill.

The Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Bill contains measures to implement urgent reforms to the aged care system and responds to 17 recommendations of the final report of the Royal Commission. It is of particular interest to VHA members as it pertains to the implementation of the new Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model.

The Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022 includes a series of measures that are intended to enable meaningful, practical improvements to the delivery of aged care services and to provide greater oversight and understanding of what funds are being used for.

As outlined in our member briefing, both legislative changes have implications for VHA members. This includes public sector residential aged care services (PSRACs) that are integrated with hospital services, as well as stand-alone PSRACS, and multi-purpose services (MPS). The legislation may also have implications for other VHA members including Ambulance Victoria, providers of palliative care, and community health services that deliver care or intersect with the aged care system.

The progression of this legislation will provide some clarity to a sector under pressure – a sector that is trying to navigate a complex reform environment while delivering care, responding to the ongoing pandemic, and dealing with a workforce in crisis.

The VHA will continue to engage with our members to ensure that their concerns and experiences relating to reforms in the aged care sector are heard and communicated proactively to both federal and state governments, and as opportunities arise to respond to relevant inquiries. We will also continue to advocate for investments in public sector aged care through via our representation on the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) and through our ongoing advocacy for the upcoming state election, and beyond.