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Catholic Health backs Govt community care strategy

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) yesterday welcomed the Government's release of its blueprint for future community care delivery, but insisted that proper funding for the initiative should not be overlooked.

Ahead of today's national community care summit in Canberra, the Federal Government has put forward proposals to clear the confusion that stems from 17 separate programs run by 4000 service providers, with the measures aimed at keeping people out of institutional care.

Shopfront centres and a national hotline are part of the new Federal plan to help 400,000 elderly and disabled people stay at home.

CHA CEO Francis Sullivan said: "CHA welcomes the Commonwealth's recognition of the importance of renegotiating the Home and Community Care Agreements with the States and Territories and this should be accompanied by a real increase in investment for services."

He stressed that "a more rational distribution of responsibilities between the Commonwealth and States" is absolutely necessary in order for a "more seamless" system of care services to evolve.

"It is essential that we create a national system and not just re-package a series or disorganised programs which create too many gaps in service delivery, too much confusion for people already burdened with illness and too much wastage through administrative burden."

Mr Sullivan called for an indexation system that meets the real costs of providing care from year to year.

Community Care Strategy - good direction but don't forget the funding (Catholic Health Australia 3/8/04)
Boost to services for care at home (The Australian 4/8/04)

Catholic Health Australia
The Way Forward - better community care (The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Ageing, 3/8/04)
A New Strategy for Community Care - The Way Forward (Department of Health and Ageing consultation paper)

4 Aug 2004