Illawarra Aged Care Provider, Warrigal responds to the 2020 budget

Warrigal has welcomed the extra 23,000 for home aged care packages under a $2 billion aged care boost in the federal budget but says it covers just a portion of what is required to set up the aged care sector for the next decade.

Mark Sewell, Warrigal CEO said, “This is great news for the many people who have been waiting for a long, long time for help at home and will now get it.

“Unfortunately the list has more than 100,000 Australians on waitlists for approved home care packages, so many will still miss out or if they are lucky, will have lower-level services offered to them.

“Aged care homes are the front line in this pandemic. The most vulnerable people in aged care homes are supported by salt-of-the-earth staff who are working very, very hard, and last night they did not get any more aged care pandemic assistance package.

“Even though they will enjoy the well-deserved tax cuts, and older people will enjoy the increases in the pension, they will still need help to stay safe at work and in their homes, especially as more visitors are encouraged back inside aged care homes and older people venture out into the community.”

Mark said, the JobMaker program would be a good support in hiring younger people but we need more permanent measures given we have to triple the aged care workforce by 2050.

The Government has funded about $4 per person per day extra since the pandemic began. What was needed is about 4 times that ($15 per day) to pay for a much safer, happier aged care system during the pandemic.

“The community needs jobs to be created – more Nurses, Physios, Infection Control experts - we are ready to create hundreds of jobs instantly in this region, but it didn’t happen.”

In announcing the Budget, the Treasurer highlighted that aged care is “one of the greatest challenges we face in delivering essential services to Australians.” He flagged that the Government will provide a comprehensive response to the Royal Commission's final recommendations, due in February 2021, which will include significant additional investment.

“This is not about the pandemic, it’s about the long-term structural neglect by the successive governments over time. I hope our oldest Australians at high risk of the virus can wait till next year.” Mark said, “It should have been done now.”



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