CANBERRA, AAP – Labor is promising to put a cap on home care fees should it win the May federal election, with a date for the poll elected within days.
It says it will stop rorts in administration and management fees, and providers will have to report monthly to users on where their money goes.
It means home care users can be confident their money is going directly to care – not management bonuses, new office fit outs or glossy marketing schemes, Labor says.
The announcement comes on top of Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s plan to reform the aged care sector.
“Labor is calling time on aged care providers who rip off vulnerable Australians,” Mr Albanese says.
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“We know home care is a vital part of the aged care system – that’s why we want to make sure it is operating as it should, in the best interests of Australians.”
It follows Labor’s announcement of a crackdown on dodgy residential aged care providers, implementing tough penalties for systematic abuse and neglect.
Research from the Grattan Institute think tank shows about 25 per cent of home care fees are taken up by administration and management costs.
In evidence to the aged care royal commission, it was reported that such costs can be as high as 50 per cent of the fees charged.
These unacceptably high fees lead to older Australians missing out on the care they need to help them stay living at home.
“It’s time users of home care packages got better value for money. Fees should be paying for high quality care – not office work,” Labor’s aged care services spokeswoman Clare O’Neill said.
“Better accountability, better care, greater confidence. No matter which pathway Australians choose for their care, Labor will be there for them.”