Tuesday, 17 May 2022
    08
    Sep
    Aged Care

    Call to boost Medicare levy

    The Health Services Union is calling for an increase in the Medicare levy to inject $20 billion into the aged care sector for more workers, Australian Ageing Agenda reports.

    Australia can transform the aged care system in four years by increasing the Medicare levy from 2 per cent to 2.65 per cent to create an additional 59,000 jobs, according to economic modelling undertaken by Equity Economists for HSU.

    The funding will provide aged care residents an additional 89 minutes of care per day from allied health therapists, registered nurses and carers, according to the report HSU submitted to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to inform the upcoming hearings on aged care finance.

    The injection will also create a five-star aged care staffing system according to international standards as found by Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) in its research report for the aged care royal commission.

    Health Services Union national president Gerard Hayes said the Medicare levy needed to be lifted to fund fully-staffed, quality aged care.

    “If we can’t eradicate issues, we should minimise issues. And we’re doing neither in terms of the aged care funding. It needs to be addressed or we will see more people succumb to conditions that they really don’t need to,” Mr Hayes told Australian Ageing Agenda.

    “We’re looking at the aged care sector, we’re looking at an ageing population and it’s not getting any better. It’s only going to get consistently worse,” he said.

    HSU’s report also highlights AHSRI’s finding that based on current staffing levels 42.5 per cent of Australian aged care homes are considered satisfactory under the United States’ rating system.

    Mr Hayes said it was surprising that staffing levels at so many aged care homes was unsatisfactory.

    FULL STORY

    Boost Medicare levy to transform aged care, says union (Australian Ageing Agenda)