Waiting list reduction a drop in the ocean – ACSA

Release date: 19 Sep 2019

The peak body for non-profit aged care providers Aged and Community Services (ACSA) says the reported reduction in the home care waiting list is welcome but there are still 119,000 people waiting for a package. 

“This reduction of around 6% of people waiting for a package is unfortunately just a drop in the ocean of people desperately needing better support at home,” ACSA CEO, Patricia Sparrow said.

“This is great news for those that are now getting a package – but what about everyone else?

 “Being on a home care waitlist is not just an inconvenience. If people have to wait it can have a lasting impact on a person’s health. It can lead to increased pressure on already stretched hospitals, mean someone has to enter residential care, or worse that they die waiting for support that never arrives.

“Those people who are still waiting face 12 or more months to get the support they need.  This is unacceptable and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. 

“The report also shows that more people who are waiting for a package have been referred for services from the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP).  The waiting lists for these services are on the increase so a referral isn’t a guarantee that people are getting the support they need.

“What today’s report shows is that when government invests and provides more packages more people get the assistance they need.   

“Government needs to continue to invest to assist older Australians.  ACSA is calling for an urgent boost of 40,000 packages and a strategy to ensure people can get a package within 3 months.

“Today’s good news and the Royal Commission can’t be used as an excuse to delay – people need better support right now.

“If you’re one of the 119,000 people still waiting for a home care package – this news means little to nothing.”

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia

 

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