Almost 152,000 older Australians have access to a home care package but the wait continues for 103,599.

The latest figures show there’s been little movement in the waiting list since the end of December when 104,473 were waiting for home care.

According to government data, 44,528 people will have to take a lower level package while they wait for their allocated level of care.

 More than 59,000 have no home care package at all, although around half of these are approved for CHSP, according the 2019-20 third quarter home care data report.

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Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) policy adviser Troy Speirs says the wait remains “heartbreakingly long” as demand continues to grow.

“It is extremely disappointing that the waitlist has only reduced by less than 1,000 people during the March quarter,” he said.

“We acknowledge that the number of people with access to a package has increased by over 6,000 during the quarter. However, this represents a reduction in the number of accessed packages when compared with the previous December quarter, where there was an increase of over 10,000 people having access to a package.”

He called for an additional financial commitment and strategic plan to be incorporated into Budget forward estimates.

The data also shows there were 922 approved home care providers at March 31, with the loss of seven providers over the last 12 months.

There were 119,524 waiting for home care at the end of September and more than 129,028 in the national queue at the end of the previous quarter.

In July the government announced the rollout of 6,105 level 1, 2 and 3 home care packages, with forward estimates allocating a total of 165,194 packages by 2023-24.

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