Peak older person’s advocacy group has released its election agenda which calls for choice and control in home care, a one-month cap on waiting times and for under-performing operators to be forced out.

As campaigning for the May 21 federal election ramps up, COTA has also accused providers of resisting aged care reform out of self-interest.

Ian Yates

“Every previous aged care reform has been resisted by aged care providers on the basis of self-interested arguments about the pace of change and taking exception on the margins to reform proposals,” CEO Ian Yates says.

“They are doing it again in lobbying both the opposition, which has not committed to the government reforms, and to the government in the election context.

“It’s time aged care providers realise that the aged care system is about older people who need support and care, in ways that enable them to maintain their independence. It is not about having their lives managed by providers and government.”

Opportunities for next government

Mr Yates says the Agenda sets out a positive set of opportunities for the next government to improve the lives of older people.

“Both major parties have things to be proud of, and failings, but our focus is on what can be achieved in the next three years,” he said.

It says a new human-rights based Aged Care Act must increase the rights of older people, improve transparency and put older people at the centre of care.

“Older people need and want choice and control over how they live their lives, in both home care and residential. No one should wait more than month for home care – all parties must commit to this. Poor quality operators should be forced out of the industry,” COTA says.

COTA says the government’s response to workforce challenges facing the aged care sector has been inadequate.

“The Opposition’s commitment is welcome if it can be delivered – but we need to see all their aged care reform policy, especially on Support at Home,” it says.

COTA’s Agenda covers 12 policy areas and makes 37 recommendations around aged care, retirement living, health, older workers, housing, ageism, older women, elder abuse, digital inclusion, social inclusion, and voluntary assisted dying.

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  1. I believe Mr. Yates is misinformed; I have not heard from our peak body or from any provider and I have many contacts in the sector having been in the sector for 30 years; that there is any lobbying against much needed reform. Lobbying both parties is a normal part of election strategy; with the possibility of either party being elected – especially this election. The pace of reform is another issue, and it is quite valid to want to manage the pace of multiple reforms which are in the pipeline at present. Successful reform depends on this. I think it is scurrilous for one part of the sector
    (consumer representatives in this case) to throw another part of the sector under the bus for their own motives.
    Reform is welcomed where I come from, and we have waited for many hears for the neglect of both governments to be addressed with meaningful reform.

  2. It’s rhetoric like this where Ian Yates keeps demonising aged care and its workforce that contributes to the fact that we have a critical workforce shortage in an industry that cannot attract workers because it is perceived so negatively in the wider community. Ian Yates if you think that people who work in aged care don’t realise who we are there for? Your are the one who is confused.

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