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Major concerns raised with the Aged Care Act Exposure draft

Released on January 30, 2024, the Key Issues Paper assesses the government’s new Aged Care Act Exposure draft. Major issues regarding the Act draft have been raised by 12 organisations involved in care for older Australians.

<p>Major concerns regarding the government’s Aged Care Act Exposure draft have been raised by 12 organisations that care for older Australians. [Source: Shuttershock]</p>

Major concerns regarding the government’s Aged Care Act Exposure draft have been raised by 12 organisations that care for older Australians. [Source: Shuttershock]

 

Key points

  • The Federal Government has recently shared the Aged Care Act Exposure draft
  • Twelve organisations that work with older people and carers have created the Key Issues Paper which outlines aspects of major concern related to the Act draft
  • It’s been three years since the Aged Care Royal Commission delivered its final report, recommending the creation of a new rights-based Aged Care Act

 

The Consultation Summary Report indicated that the Aged Care Act, following so many successive changes since it was first enacted in 1997, has become difficult to navigate and is internally inconsistent. The new Act, which has recently been released by the Federal Government, is set to replace the 1997 version, however, concerns have been raised regarding the new draft. 

The Key Issues Paper was released yesterday on January 30, 2024, and was formulated by a collection of 12 organisations that work with older people and in the aged care sector. This paper is pivotal in developing the Aged Care Act Exposure draft as numerous major concerns were raised. 

 

Some of the concerns raised by organisations associated with the Key Issues Paper include:

  • enforceable rights of older people that address the current power imbalance;
  • a robust, independent complaints system;
  • transparency of timelines and funding;
  • strong regulation and penalties for those found guilty of not upholding the rights of older people.

 

According to the Older Persons Advocacy Network Chief Executive Officer Craig Gear, the changes to the aged care system have been a long time coming. 

“Older people are telling us they want their rights and they want them now. They can’t wait any longer. It has been three years since the Aged Care Royal Commission delivered its final report, recommending the creation of a new rights-based Aged Care Act,” said OPAN CEO Craig Gear.

Once fully implemented, the new aged care legislative framework will respond to over 50 recommendations of the Royal Commission; from July 1, 2025, the new approach to home care will address 20 additional recommendations. More information is available at Australia’s first look at the new Aged Care Act.

According to the new Aged Care Act document released by the federal government in December 2023, some purposes of this Act are to:

  • provide choices for people in aged care regarding decision-making of their care;
  • prevent mistreatment and unsafe care of older people in funded aged care facilities;
  • ensure accessibility of complaint mechanisms for people utilising the aged care services.

 

The government has introduced several welcome reform measures, including 24/7 nursing, mandatory minutes of care and increased pay for staff.

With the Key Issues Paper having now been made public, it’s up to the government to assess the concerns raised to establish an Act with appropriate changes to ensure the greater well-being of all older people in Australia. 

 

What do you think about the concerns raised regarding the Federal Government’s new Aged Care Act draft?

Let the team at Talking Aged Care know on social media. 

For more information and news in the aged care industry, subscribe to our free newsletter. 

Related content:

Unlocking global talent to fill critical gaps in Aged Care workforce

What older Australians want out of the new Aged Care Act

Australia’s first look at the new Aged Care Act

 

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