IRT calls for aged-care funding gap to be closed
3 February 2012
One of Australia’s largest community-based seniors lifestyle and care providers has backed the findings of a Grant Thornton Australia report showing the returns generated by aged care providers is preventing further investment in building new facilities.
IRT Chief Executive Nieves Murray said urgent reform was required across the aged-care sector, and called for the government to implement the reforms recommended from the Productivity Commission’s Caring for Older Australians report.
“Without long-term financial security across the aged care sector, investment will not meet the demand to create the quality communities seniors need. The current funding model for residential aged care is outdated and it is not in keeping with the expectations of today’s seniors – who want modern amenities including individual rooms with ensuites,” Ms Murray said.
“A secure future for aged care residential services can only be provided if flexibility is introduced into the funding arrangements. The Productivity Commission has called for the removal of distinction between low and high care places, and that change will allow providers to deliver more targeted solutions for seniors.
“The Grant Thornton Australia Australian Cost of Residential Aged Care Research report shows not-for-profit aged care providers in Australia, like IRT, face a shortfall of up to $46 for each high-care bed they operate - every day of the year. For an operator like IRT with over 450 high-care beds, this is a funding gap of around $7.5 million a year.
“In the Wollongong Local Government Area we will see a 72 per cent increase in people over the age of 65 in the next 25 years, while by 2047 there will be four-fold increase in the number of people aged over 85. As an industry we need to be prepared to respond to the demands of the community and widespread reform is the only way we can achieve it,” Ms Murray said.
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Phone: 4221 6653 or 0419 789 841
Note to Editors: Please refer to IRT as “IRT” not “Illawarra Retirement Trust” – thank you
About IRT: IRT is one of Australia’s largest community based seniors lifestyle and care providers. It has been providing seniors lifestyle and care solutions for over 40 years. IRT manages communities in more than 30 locations across the Illawarra, South Coast of NSW, Sydney and Canberra and provides solutions to over 6000 customers.