Catholic Health Australia (CHA) today offered to partner with the Australian Government to implement aged care reforms recommended in the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission's (NHHRC) final report.
However, CHA CEO Martin Laverty said the Commission should not have been so cautious in only recommending minor hospital system reform.
"CHA is disappointed that the Commission has not taken the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for reform by only going as far as suggesting the Commonwealth part-fund hospital services," Mr Laverty said. "This is deferring real decisions about Commonwealth-funded public hospital services for years into the future. What we need now is action on patient care, not more debate."
CHA has backed the NHHRC's recommendations on aged care.†
"Older Australians are being let down by an out of date aged care system," Mr Laverty said.
"The Commission has given the Government an action plan which many in the aged care sector have been seeking for years.
"Last year CHA proposed to the Government a number of changes we believe are crucial to ensuring that every Australian who needs it has access to quality aged care, now and into the future.
"Some of our recommendations were not well received within Government at the time.
"Now the chief health reform body has echoed our proposals, we again offer to work with Government to implement these proposals - we are ready and willing to help bring about the necessary changes."
CHA's aged care recommendations endorsed by the NHHRC report include:
ē 42 - The number of government-funded aged care places be calculated on actual need, so that older Australians don't miss out on care,
ē 43 - Voluntary bonds in high care, so that those able to contribute to the cost of care are not prohibited from doing so,
ē 44 - Aged Care league tables, so that consumers are provided information on the types of services available,
ē 45 - A single national funding system for residential and community care, making aged care funding simpler for consumers,
ē 46 - A single national Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) system to streamline access into aged care, and
ē 49 - Community Care recipients be able to determine how aged care funding is spent.