Friday, 12 April 2024
    Paying for aged care
    Aged Care

    Paying for aged care

    I have had the immense privilege of knowing three of my great-grandparents, writes Rachel Clun in The Age. One of them – known as Nana Smith to the great-grandchildren – taught me how to knit, and could thoroughly beat me in Scrabble.

    Because I knew so many of my grand and great-grandparents, I have also been a regular visitor to several aged care facilities.

    Nana Smith spent her ninth decade in a relatively nice establishment, but the facilities my other grandparents lived in were more basic. One was particularly grim.

    It was the grim state of many aged care facilities around the country that eventually led to the aged care royal commission. The final, 2800-page report, titled Neglect, highlighted just how bad the system was and made nearly 150 recommendations to fix it.

    Those recommended fixes – including round-the-clock nurse care, mandatory minimum qualifications for workers and quality nutritious food – come with a cost, in a system that already costs more than $30 billion a year.

    The commissioners recommended two slightly different funding models: Tony Pagone suggested a Medicare-style levy that would be used solely on aged care; while Lynelle Briggs recommended a general 1 per cent levy that would add to federal funds, giving the government more cash overall.

    In her recent speech to the National Press Club, Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said a new taskforce should consider a levy as well as other funding proposals to pay for the needed reforms.

    But major aged care providers have told my colleague Natassia Chrysanthos that those who can afford it should pay more for their care, and warned any new tax must be fair to younger Australians.

    I agree with those providers.


    If you can afford to pay for aged care, you should (The Age)


    Vlada Karpovich / Pexels