Government commended for reform implementation

Significant progress has been made in implementing the royal commission’s recommendations, according to a report released last week.

Significant progress has been made in implementing the royal commission’s recommendations, according to a report released last week.

Requested by Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells, the 93-page document is an “objective and independent” assessment by the Interim Inspector-General of Aged Care into the government’s response to the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The report commends the Albanese Government and the Department of Health and Aged Care for the “strong early responses” made to deliver the reforms.

Among those highlighted:

However, the report notes that reform implementation is ongoing and calls for “continued momentum” as there have been some “timeline slippages”. Government is urged to make “timely decisions” in delivering the new Aged Care Act and the new Support at Home program.   

The report contains an examination of the implementation progress of around 60 recommendations grouped into seven priority areas:

  • home care
  • quality in residential care
  • diversity
  • dementia
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care
  • system access and navigation
  • financial sustainability and consumer contributions.

On consumer contributions, the Interim Inspector General Ian Yates – who, it was announced Monday, had been appointed Acting Inspector General of Aged Care –  observes “an inherent inequity” in having taxpayers of moderate means paying for the aged care of people who may have a high income, assets, or both.

In residential aged care, Mr Yates highlights inequity in the assessment and treatment of assets, particularly the family home, and calls for a reconsideration of Refundable Accommodation Deposits. Addressing home care, Mr Yates indicates his support for a review of consumer contributions to improve equity and consistency.

An overview of the implementation status of all 148 royal commission recommendations also feature in the report.

Ian Yates

In its foreword, Mr Yates says: “We have made great progress to ensure that ageing and the issues that older people face are front and centre, but there is a lot more to be done. It is up to all of us to collectively shoulder the responsibility if we are to achieve true, transformative, and sustainable change.”

The document is the first in what will be a series of progress reports from the Office of the Inspector General of Aged Care. There is a legislative requirement for two further progress reports: the next is due by 1 June 2024; the following by 1 June 2025.

By 30 June 2026, a major review of the implementation of the recommendations must take place. These following reports will provide a more comprehensive assessment of implementation progress and be informed by extensive stakeholder engagement.

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Tags: ian yates, reform,

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