23 July 2010

Older Australians to benefit from directed care packages

The Gillard Government has announced the introduction of consumer directed community and respite care packages to enable recipients and their carers to have a greater say in how their care will be delivered.

“The packages introduce greater choice into Australia’s aged care system", Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot said.

“Consumer directed care has been shown to improve the quality of life and independence of care recipients. This is an important step forward in the provision of aged care services.”

The first 700 packages have been allocated to service providers, and will be made up of:

  • 500 consumer directed care places aligned with existing community aged care packages providing low, high and dementia care; and
  • 200 consumer directed care packages funded through 16 Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres.
A further 500 community aged care packages will be made available in 2011-12.

Consumer directed care packages is seen as an important element of the Gillard Labor Government’s aged care reforms which aims to build a nationally consistent aged care system and increase the number of aged care places.

The Gillard Labor Government’s investment in health and aged care stands in stark contrast to the Coalition’s plan to cut services.

As a former Health Minister, Tony Abbott cut $1 billion from Australia’s public hospitals and he has made it clear that he will make more cuts to health and hospitals if elected.

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