Viability supplement critical for Victoria’s public sector residential aged care

September 4, 2020

Public sector residential aged care services in rural and remote Victoria have been given much needed support this week with the extension of the Commonwealth Government’s increased viability and homeless supplements, both due to expire at the end of August.

With the Victorian aged care sector continuing to be negatively impacted by COVID-19, the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) has welcomed an additional $563.3 million in funding from the Commonwealth Government to extend support for the aged care sector’s response to COVID-19.

The half a billion-dollar investment covers a range of initiatives announced since March 2020. It includes the extension of the 30 per cent increase to the viability supplement, which helps aged care providers providing services in rural and remote areas, and the residential care homeless supplement, both for a further six months to 28 February 2021.

Chief Executive of the VHA, Tom Symondson, is pleased to see the continuation of this crucial support, particularly the extension of the raised supplement which was a key recommendation of the VHA’s submission to the Commonwealth’s Pre-Budget process for 2020-21.

‘Members told us how valuable the increase to the supplement is, particularly given the pre-existing viability and sustainability challenges in rural aged care delivery coupled with the immediate challenges posed by COVID-19, making maintaining this support essential,’ Mr Symondson says.

Mr Symondson is calling on the Commonwealth Government to implement further changes and maintain other initiatives as part of its 2020/21 Budget to support the health and aged care sector, as set out in the VHA’s Pre-Budget submission.

‘This budget offers the opportunity to build on initiatives across the sector supporting the COVID-19 response and safeguard service delivery across the healthcare continuum. The VHA will continue to advocate for changes to improve the delivery of health and aged care in Victoria.’

Further information on the VHA’s recommendations is available in the Pre-Budget Submission for 2020-21, which can be accessed here.