Residential aged care facilities have called for an urgent funding injection as 41 per cent of providers reported to be making a loss at December last year, compared to 31 per cent in 2015/16, according to new data from StewartBrown.
The new data also showed a further 56 per cent of regional facilities were expected to report losses this financial year.
Peak aged care industry bodies, Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), the Aged Care Guild and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) said Government changes to aged care funding arrangements were to blame.
LASA chief executive, Sean Rooney, said these changes had “cut deeper than anticipated,” and warned that quality and affordable aged care services were now at serious risk.
ACSA CEO, Pat Sparrow, added the sector required urgent budget support, but could use an ‘adjustment payment’ in the interim until work on the new funding arrangements had been undertaken.
Australia is estimated to require another 83,500 beds over the next ten years to meet the rising aged care demand, but this growth is “far from being met,” according to Aged Care Guild CEO, Lee Hill.
“Given the observations in the Legislated Review of Aged Care about long-term sustainability of the sector, this needs to include broader discussions on sector sustainability across the full spectrum of revenue levers such as private, public and insurance products,” said Hill.
The peak industry bodies recognise that appropriate safety nets must be maintained for consumers without the means to fund their care needs, and a ‘two-tiered’ system must be avoided.