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Catholic Health highlights under-funding in Govt boost to aged care


Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has said that the release of 8666 aged care places does nothing to guarantee that adequate care standards can be established and maintained.

CEO Francis Sullivan said the key to understanding the 'flawed logic' of the Government's funding of aged care homes and hostels lies in the apparently healthy consumer price index figures released last week. The figures reveal a zero inflation figure for Australia for the past three months. Mr Sullivan said the CPI does not account for the bulk of the expenditure on aged care, such as a large wages safety net adjustment.

"The more the Commonwealth relies on the CPI as a base component for its annual subsidy increases, the wider will the gap becomes between the real costs and what the government is paying," he said.

"The continual release of under funded places only undermines the community's confidence and further strains the capacity of organisations to provide dignified care."

Meanwhile three peak groups including Catholic Health Australia yesterday issued a joint statement challenging this week's meeting of state health ministers in Perth to face up to a number of challenges including the critical shortfall in hospital funding.

CHA, together with the Australian Healthcare Association (AHA), and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) joined forces to call on the Federal Government to increase its current 'mean and shortsighted' public hospital funding offer.

"The current offer of $42 billion over 5 years is almost $1 billion less than was announced in the forward estimates. If hospital admissions increase, even by a small margin, these funds will fall seriously short of meeting demand."

SOURCE
Catholic Health Australia/Catholic Health Australia

LINKS
Health groups demand more action from Govt (ABC)
Catholic Health draws attention to alarming care cost rises (25/7/03)


29 Jul 2003