Aged care reforms delivering for older Australians

Dec 11, 2023
Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells anticipates "continued improvements" in the aged care sector. Source: Getty Images.

In a heartening development for Australia’s aged care residents, the Albanese Government’s aged care reforms are already yielding remarkable results, as revealed in the latest Aged Care Quarterly Financial Snapshot (QFS).

The comprehensive report demonstrates a sector that is not only rebounding but evolving into a more stable and sustainable environment.

One of the most notable achievements is the increase in the average daily minutes of care per resident, with providers delivering an impressive 194 minutes in the final quarter of 2022-23—a commendable rise of 4 minutes.

Furthermore, the recent enforcement of the Labor Government’s mandatory 200 care minutes, effective from October 1, 2023, underscores a commitment to elevating the standard of care for elderly Australians.

The good news continues in the financial realm, as 70 per cent of residential providers have made positive earnings this year, which is a 1.6 percent improvement from last quarter. This positive trend is making the aged care sector more stable financially, creating better conditions for our frontline workers, and ensuring optimal care for residents.

In another positive development, the number of residential providers making a profit has increased, with 49 per cent reporting a net profit before tax this year—an improvement of 0.3 percentage points from the third quarter. This is a significant step up from the first quarter of 2022-23 when only 34 percent of providers were profitable.

The good news also extends to in-home care, where earnings have increased to $4.59 per recipient per day, up by $0.42 from the third-quarter figures. The majority of home care providers are also making a profit, with 74.7 percent reporting positive earnings, compared to 74.5 percent in the previous quarter.

Buoyed by the success of the recent reforms, Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells anticipates “continued improvements” in the aged care sector, fostering a positive trajectory for the well-being of older Australians and the dedicated caregivers supporting them.

“When the Albanese Government came into office, the aged care sector was hurting from a lack of investment and innovation but in just 12 months there is now an optimistic outlook for the financial performance of the sector,” Wells said.

“I am particularly pleased to see care minutes increase to 194 minutes for the last quarter of the year, showing that the sector average of 200 care minutes is well within grasp.

“The positive trend seen across the last four Quarterly Financial Snapshots show Labor’s reforms to aged care are working.

“Looking ahead, we expect to see continued improvements in the viability of the sector, supported by additional Australian National Aged Care Classification funding.

“Through these reforms we are creating a stable and sustainable sector, that delivers high-quality care that older people can access when and where they need it.”

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