Friday, October 19, 2012

Not for profit aged care provider Baptistcare protests Federal Government funding cuts

Always pleasing to see large Not- for- profit organizations like Baptistcare willing to make a stand  and protest against Government policy that disadvantages the people they serve.

This report describes a protest by staff at Baptistcare's Rockingham aged care facility against Federal Government funding decisions in aged care that are resulting in $500 million being cut from aged care funding.

Baptistcare is extending the protest to 13 of its residential aged care facilities and three disability and community care sites from today, in protest at the Federal government's decision

The organisation has taken the step of launching the visual protest, which includes a call to action via social media, to raise greater public awareness of the government's 1 July adjustments to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

The protest is part of  a larger campaign being run by not- for- profit aged care providers through Aged and Community Services WA  which represents not-for-profit aged care providers which care for 100,000 of the state's most frail and vulnerable citizens.
Flags emblazoned with “Government Neglects Aged Care” flew outside the Gracehaven facility protesting reduced federal funds for aged-care organisations to deliver clinical care services to its residents.

Baptistcare CEO Lucy Morris said the Government had made it almost impossible for not-for-profit residential care providers, like Baptistcare, to provide appropriate care for the elderly and vulnerable.

“Through its adjustment of the assessment tool used to fund high-care services, the Government has stripped money from the services needed to care for older, sicker residents, who have more complex health needs and need higher levels of care,” Dr Morris said.

But Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler said subsidies would not be reduced and they would continue to grow by 2.7 per cent a year above indexation, per resident over the next five years.

He said early data for providers’ care funding claims made in July showed average subsidies increased from $133.96 per resident per day in June to $134.83 in July.

“Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) have claimed funding will be cut by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012 and beyond,” Mr Butler said.

“These claims are clearly untrue, as these early figures show. The Government’s aged care package will increase funding for residential care. This year’s subsidies will be $310 million more than last year.”

ACSA WA chief Stephen Kobelke said WA’s not-for-profit aged care sector had struggled for years to survive in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

“There has been unprecedented stagnation in the provision of aged-care services in WA, to the point that 3368 bed licences have now not been taken up since 2007,” he said.

He said ACSWA figures showed some aged-care providers would face cuts of over $14,000 per resident.

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