Help’s on the way for Central Queenslanders in need
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has vowed to fund 10,000 more home care packages - and Centacare CQ chief executive Robert Sims said the funding was promising for the aged care sector.
Mr Morrison announced, on Monday, the Federal Government would invest $496.3 million for additional packages as part of his commitment to the Aged Care Royal Commission.
The need for more home care packages was identified as a priority issue by the Royal Commission interim report released on October 31.
"It will be good to see what comes next," Mr Sims said.
Centacare CQ provides care to 2000 Central Queenslanders - many of them receive or are waiting for a home care package.
Home Care Packages enable older Australians with complex needs to access affordable care services at home.
There are 1209 people receiving home care packages in the Fitzroy region and almost as many on the waiting list.
Mr Sims said allocating more packages was the first step in addressing the problem.
"It's a tricky situation in that the industry needs to be properly resourced," he said.
"The packages will get released and they will start getting allocated to clients but it will come down to providers to have resources on hand to help the clients."
A total of 636 home care packages were released from March to June 2019 in the Fitzroy region and 170 people entered in the same quarter.
Mr Sims said the government needed to continue to offer programs to strengthen the system such as training for people entering the system.
"Is there more that we could be doing to support people in need in the aged care sector to resource the sector to grow and expand?" he said.
With an ageing population, Mr Sims said the aged care sector needs to be a priority for the government.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said funding 10,000 more packages showed the government wasn't serious about fixing aged care.
"Too many people have already died waiting for support," Mr O'Rourke said.
"The funding announced doesn't even come close to covering the $1.2 billion this government has cut from aged care. It just isn't good enough."
Commissioners will deliver the final aged care report on November 12, 2020.