Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday

The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments signed an agreement yesterday for the transfer of the Home and Community Care Program (HACC) in Victoria to the Federal Government, delivering three years of funding certainty to existing providers.

Victoria will join the national Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) from 1 July, 2016 and the Commonwealth has guaranteed that the level of funding to existing providers will remain the same over the three-year transition period.

This means that there will be no re-tendering of services during this transition phase.

There will be also opportunities for funded organisations to apply for annual growth funding during this period.

Chief executive of the Victorian Healthcare Association Tom Symondson welcomed the signing of the bilateral agreement and said it was essential that the strengths of Victoria’s home and community care services were maintained.

“The transition agreement provides consumers, health services and communities with certainty that for the three years from 1 July 2016, HACC service providers will receive funding at their current levels so that they can continue delivering high quality care to people in their homes,” he said.

The agreement also includes a commitment to support ongoing service development enabling Victorian HACC service providers to innovate and improve the service delivery system, said Mr Symondson.

“We are very pleased this agreement ensures there will be continuity of care for older people accessing HACC services in the immediate future but we need to ensure the quality of Victoria’s HACC program is protected when the transition phase concludes and the Commonwealth assumes full responsibility.”

He said it was also important that people under 65 who currently receive HACC services and will not be eligible for the NDIS do not fall through the cracks.

Services for people aged under 65, and under 50 for Aboriginal people, will be funded and managed solely by the Victorian Government, until the NDIS is in full operation. It is expected that some of these people will become participants in the NDIS.

Negotiations on a HACC transition for older people in Western Australia are still underway but are at an early stage. The CHSP commenced on 1 July this year in all other states and territories.

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