The Federal Government is set to cut the Complex Health Care element of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) by $1.2 billion over four years in the 2016-17 Budget. This is on top of $750 million which was cut in December 2015. Independent modelling commissioned by UnitingCare Australia suggests the real impact of the funding cuts to aged care will be more than $2.5billion.
Funding cuts of this magnitude will seriously impact services delivered by Uniting Church aged care facilities around Australia.
Should the cuts go ahead, funding will be reduced for each newly admitted aged care resident, or those whose needs are reassessed, by an average of $6,655 per year, with a reduction in funding of up to $18,000 for older people with the most complex needs.
Critical health care needs such as wound and skin care, mobility needs, arthritis treatment and end of life care are under direct threat. Aged care services will also be limited in their capacity to deliver the level of care to meet the needs of residents, reducing their wellbeing and quality of life.
The cuts will also place more pressure on the already strained public hospitals as older people may face increased delays accessing residential aged care services.
The Federal Government cuts will be felt in communities all over Australia, however regional and remote aged care facilities are likely to be hit hardest. There is a very real threat that some facilities could be forced to close.
UnitingCare Australia is calling for these funding cuts to be stopped, so the Federal Government and the aged care sector can work together on a sustainable funding model. You can support UnitingCare Australia by:
- Sending your local Member of Parliament an email asking them to stop the cuts by visiting the campaign webpage
- Telling your friends, family and colleagues about the cuts to aged care and sharing the link to the campaign website on social media. Use the hashtag #stopthecuts
- Understanding what these cuts will mean for vulnerable and sick older people by finding more information and reading some real life case studies on the UnitingCare Australia