House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Questions without Notice

Aged Care

3:09 pm

Photo of Rowan RamseyRowan Ramsey (Grey, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care. Will the minister update the House on how our government is standing by Australian families to support and protect older Australians?

Photo of Ken WyattKen Wyatt (Hasluck, Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Health) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to thank the member for Grey for his continued and ongoing interest in looking after senior Australians. This government, our government, has a $5 billion record funding level over the four years of the forward estimates to support senior Australians. It is based around better access to care, better quality of care and better ageing. Aged-care funding in 2017-18 will increase from $18.6 billion and will grow to $23.6 billion in 2021-22.

Since our government was elected, aged-care funding has increased by an average of 6.1 per cent. Since the last budget, we have been delivering 20,000 new high-level home care packages, and that will continue to grow from 87,000 through to 151,000, ensuring that senior Australians have access to home care packages that enable them to live within their communities. We're adding an additional 13,500 residential aged-care places and 750 short-term restorative care places. By 2021-22, there will be an overall 74,000 high-level care packages for those who will have those needs, because of the complex health conditions that they have. They are continuing to be supported through packages that range from level 1 through to level 2 and have support through the Commonwealth Home Support Program. It is about looking after them. In addition to that, we have created the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which is going to fulfil the function of bringing all those elements together.

Let me tell you that our government is going further to support senior Australians, and the royal commission is one way of doing that. What we want to do is look at those things that the quality agency has also identified as being important areas.

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Ken WyattKen Wyatt (Hasluck, Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Health) Share this | | Hansard source

Whilst members interject, what we need to think about is that the bottom line is about senior Australians in residential aged care and in home care, and that's why we have provided $50 million to support aged-care providers to implement the new quality standards that are absolutely critical to ensuring that people in homes and in residential care are considered and looked after very carefully. It is not about neglecting; it is about considering their needs in a way that is absolutely important, and the royal commission will help to identify the areas in the shades of grey that we need to seriously consider.

Mr Shorten interjecting

That's not a problem, Leader of the Opposition. It is important that both sides of this chamber make sure that those who built this nation are looked after, cared for and given every consideration. (Time expired)

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.