The campaign is urging Australians to sign a petition against further cuts, highlighting these could result in elderly Australians not having affordable access to the care they need and threaten aged care jobs. It points out services are already stretched and with an ageing population the situation will only get worse if Aged Care is not properly supported.
“Our sector has endured a number of budget cuts in recent years, and we are now at a point where any further reduction in funding will severely compromise the ability of the sector to offer affordable care and meet future demand for care places,” Mr Cameron O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of the Aged Care Guild says.
The $1.2 billion cut to the ACFI in last year’s Budget, followed a $472 million reduction in funding in the 2015 MYEFO, the freezing of indexation in 2012 and the removal of the Payroll Tax supplement in the 2014 Budget.
“The industry is facing major challenges in meeting the demands of an ageing population and delivering the 76,000 new beds that are required by 2026,” Mr O’Reilly continues. “Further cuts would make a difficult situation much worse. The sector needs funding stability to ensure it can continue to provide the services elderly Australians need.”
On the dedicated campaign website, providers have voice their support. “We aren’t only providing care when it comes to showering dressing and grooming, we’re providing life style programs, we’re providing emotional support, we’re providing palliative care” says one provider. “These are people, everybody’s treating them like numbers.”
Another provider believes the reduction in funding would affect that sense of community, that sense of identity and that sense of being at home. “I do not believe a lot of people have an understanding of what the environment is or what the cuts or the intended cuts the government has for aged care. And it’s important for families to know because it would affect them sooner or later,” the provider says.
Find out more by visiting the 'Protect Aussie Aged Care’ website.