Federal Government Announces $18 Billion Aged Care Spend in 2021-22 Budget

on the Tuesday, May 11, 2021

In the 2021-22 federal budget announcement on Tuesday, the government has guaranteed 80’000 additional Home Care Packages, along with mandating the amount of time aged care staff must spend with residents.

Key features of the 2021-22 budget for aged care:

  • 80’000 extra home care packages
  • Every aged care resident to receive 3 hours and 20 minutes of care per day (40 minutes with a Registered Nurse)
  • $650 million to grow and upskill the aged care workforce
  • One Registered Nurse on-site for at least 16 hours per day
  • 33,800 training places for personal care workers
  • Additional $10 per day per resident given to aged care homes
  • Stronger regulations around physical and chemical restraints
  • Increased number of safety audits
  • New funding model to be introduced
  • Star ratings system so older people and their families can easily compare quality and safety of providers
  • $650 million to improve access to aged care in regional, rural and remote areas

Over five years, $17.7 billion will be made available to the aged care sector, after findings made in the Royal Commission unveiled the need for a substantial overhaul to the system.

Eighty thousand Home Care Packages will be released over the next two years.

The government has said that by 2023, more than 275,000 home care packages will be available to senior Australians.

The Aged Care Royal Commission found that the workforce was underpaid and undertrained, with many aged care homes across the country understaffed.

From 2023, care staff will be required to spend at least 3 hours and 20 minutes with each aged care resident, increasing to 3 hours and 35 minutes by 2024. At least 40 minutes of that time will be with a Registered Nurse.

From July 2022, a Registered Nurse will need to be on-site at every aged care home, for a minimum of 16 hours a day.

Upskilling aged care workers is a major focus of the budget, with $650 million to grow and train the workforce. Registered Nurses will be given $3,700 if they stay working for the same aged care provider for a year.

The Royal Commission found that funding for aged care is insufficient, with an additional $10 per day per resident to be provided to aged care homes to ensure a higher standard of care.

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