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Catholic Health says auctioning aged care not on

Catholic Health Australia yesterday urged the Federal Government not be distracted by "fanciful notions of free market solutions which do little for the sick and much for the profiteers".

The call followed media coverage of the final report of the Residential Aged Care Pricing Review, which supposedly suggested the auctioning of aged care delivery in the same manner as licences for FM radio stations and taxi services.

CEO Francis Sullivan said: "As a matter of urgency the Government should reassure the community that the aged care program is in line for a major injection of public funds, not major surgery to become a government revenue raiser."

"The Federal Government established this pricing review amidst enormous pressure to change the recurrent funding formula so as to keep pace with the real costs of care," he said. "It seems astounding that at a time when the country boasts a surplus over $7 billion that this Government would seriously consider auctioning delivery of care of the frail aged to raise funds."

Mr Sullivan said that although Professor Warraen Hogan's report is yet to be released, if press articles are accurate, the Federal Government "must immediately reject the notion that delivery of care of the frail aged should be subject to an auctioning process."

Auctioning aged care not on (Catholic Health Australia 23/12/03)

Catholic Health Australia
A fresh take on an old fix (The Australian 23/12/03)
Review of Pricing Arrangements in Residential Aged Care (Department of Health and Ageing)

24 Dec 2003