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Catholic Health supports fair go for hostel residents

Pressure is mounting on the Federal Government from a number of aged care operators including Catholic Health Australia to introduce nursing home bonds.

Under the plan, nursing home residents would pay $100,000 bonds or "refundable deposits". Currently such bonds are paid only by nursing hostel residents, who need less care.

A coalition of 23 aged-care operators and consumer groups reached agreement on the proposal at the National Aged Care Summit this week.

Catholic Health Australia (CHA), the country's largest non-government provider of health services, is onside with the National Aged Care Alliance in support of the bonds, provided they do not apply to short-stay "terminal" residents.

CHA Director Francis Sullivan told the summit in Melbourne yesterday that extending bonds from hostels to nursing homes was a matter of fairness.

"The less well off are cross-subsidising the accommodation costs of the better off," Mr Sullivan explained.

He said that currently people with dementia in hostels who need low-level care pay a bond, regardless of their assets. But a person who requires a higher level of care in a nursing home does not pay a bond, even if they have more assets than a hostel resident.

The alliance's proposal, not yet released, gives nursing home residents the choice between paying an upfront bond or a "realistic" daily charge.

Push grows to extend bonds from hostels to nursing homes (Sydney Morning Herald 13/2/04)

Catholic Health Australia | Canberra Update
National Aged Care Summit
Pressure on for nursing home bonds (The Age 13/2/04)
Grim warning on aged care (Herald-Sun 13/2/04)
Aged Care Alliance calls for Govt to release funding report (ABC Radio AM 11/2/04)
Warning for elderly as Salvos sell (The Age 12/2/04)
Uniting Church calls for government funds to keep aged facilities (Insights 12/2/04)

13 Feb 2004