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Catholic Health says aged care homes don't need hotel-style room service

Speaking after last week's announcement of "extra services" for aged care homes by Federal Ageing Minister Kevin Andrews, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) dismissed the initiative as "just another opportunity to charge residents more".

Aged care homes will be able to apply to the Department of Health and Ageing to offer "extra services" or 'hotel' type services, such as deluxe accommodation and room service as well as extra activities or amenities.

"The real costs of providing the level of care the community expects far outstrip the Commonwealth's care subsidy," said CHA CEO Francis Sullivan. "With CPI at over 3%, health inflation close to 6%, wages increases projected to be over 10%, the Commonwealth subsidy has only grown by just on 2%.'

"This extension into more extra services by the Commonwealth only further shifts the burden to consumers where the onus of responsibility lies with the Commonwealth," he said. "The hard realities must be addressed. Standards of care can only be met if they are properly funded."

"Giving aged care homes more opportunity to serve residents wine with their meals and other hotel frills is fine, but ensuring that the real costs of providing dignified, safe and secure care is an essential responsibility from which the Commonwealth cannot shy away."

Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia
Health & Ageing Minister Kevin Andrews | More extra service in aged care homes (media Release)

2 Jun 2003