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Catholic Health says PM's aged care boost must be more than one-off

Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has responded to news of a $1.6 billion Howard Government boost to aged care funding by insisting that any funding package must include a "generous increase in recurrent funding" to nursing homes.

"We will only be satisfied if the package includes that funding," he said. "If it's more of the same.. it will do nothing to relieve the increasing burden on nursing homes."

The Age reports today that the Federal Government is set to announce the $1.6 billion lift for the struggling aged-care industry next week, with most of the money going to higher subsidies for nursing home beds.

The paper believes about $250 million a year will go towards the recurrent funding Mr Sullivan is insisting upon. This is the money aged-care operators receive per resident per day from the Federal Government.

The funding boost is part of election year spending, in which the health, welfare and family sectors feature prominently.

The Government is also expected to lift the cap on the accommodation fees that nursing homes can charge wealthier residents from $13.91 to up to $19 a day.

The package is believed to contain special funding for rural and regional areas.

$1.6 billion boost for aged care (The Age 14/4/04)

Catholic Health Australia

14 Apr 2004